Coronavirus – SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19. This new virus and disease (SARS-CoV-2) was unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
Unique in nature, viruses can only live and multiply inside the cells of other living organisms. The cell they multiply in is called the host cell. A virus is made up of a core of genetic material, surrounded by a protective coat which is made up of protein. Sometimes this is surrounded by an additional spikey coat called the envelope. Viruses are capable of latching onto host cells and getting inside them.
What type of virus is Coronavirus?
Viruses can be generally split into three groups by virus structure. This affects the effectiveness of biocides in killing the viruses.
- Enveloped viruses are easiest to kill. (E.g. Influenza.)
- Large, non-enveloped viruses are more difficult to kill. (E.g. Rotavirus.)
- Small, non-enveloped viruses are hardest to kill. (E.g. Norovirus.)
Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning it has low resistance to effective disinfectant products.
Can manufacturers claim that their products can be used effectively during the COVID-19 outbreak?
During an outbreak of a new virus like SARS-CoV-2, NO products exist on the market that can make claims to kill the virus. This is due to the simple fact that there is no virus available to test, and it can take more than one year to get a viral claim approved by a regulatory agency. For this reason, Biocide Regulatory Agencies such as the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have enacted a ‘hierarchy-based’ policy. This means that if a product has been found to be effective against harder-to-kill viruses, it is likely to kill a virus like COVID- 19.
A product that provide the greatest protection from COVID-19, will have claims against at least one non-enveloped virus such as Norovirus, Feline Calicivirus, Poliovirus, Rhinovirus, or Reovirus. This theory is the basis by which ECHA and EPA assess the efficacy of biocides against viruses.
Laboratories that are equipped to test viruses are very specialised and for extremely virulent viruses are usually Government controlled. There will also need to be ECHA or EPA regulated or accredited. There are no accredited laboratories in the UK currently testing for the specific SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Our hypochlorous (HOCl) technology has been tested successfully in every case against several other known types of coronavirus and has been independently tested in UK laboratories to the following European standard EN 14476 (Quantitative suspension test for the evaluation of viricidal activity in the medical area). This test is the benchmark for effectiveness against Coronaviruses and is Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) approved by ECHA.
- Type 1 Human Hygiene.
- Type 2 Surface Disinfection
- Type 3 Veterinary hygiene
- Type 4 Food & Feed Areas
- Type 5 Drinking Water.