The Importance Of Staying Clean In The Modern EraSeptember 1, 2015 // No Comments
The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has heightened awareness and concern over the potentially devastating effects of an uncontrolled outbreak of a highly contagious pathogen.
This is a summary of an article in July’s SAIFinsight, written by James Milnes, Director at Hasta (UK) Ltd – a specialist Bio-Security Consultancy and Training company.
Whilst Ebola has caught the headlines, there are many other pathogens lurking, waiting for the appropriate set of conditions to unleash their devastating effect. More recently a strain of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has started to take its toll in Asia with a reported European death in May. Whilst MERS is a potential risk to the UK it is considered a low threat to public health. There is however, a pathogen that represents a significant risk to the UK – Flu. The UK’s National Risk Register has articulated that “‘Superflu’ pandemic is the biggest danger posed to the UK apart from terrorist attack”.
The over use of antibiotics and the use of poisons in detergents has generated a population of ‘Superbugs’ that are threatening to have a significant impact upon the global community. Even minor surgery could be a life threatening procedure due to the potential risk of infection. In West Africa the unsafe burial practices were a major reason for the spread of Ebola. In the West we have other issues that are more close to home such as faecal borne viruses and bacteria that are transferred after poor personal hygiene procedures. Studies have shown that over 50% of people do not wash their hands after using the toilet and they then spread contamination onto surfaces they touch.
Most detergents, cleaning fluids and sanitizers that are on the market today stop working after initial application. As soon as a surface or your skin is clean, it is immediately open to re-contamination without any lasting protection. This presents a significant issue when dealing with an outbreak situation or in general cleanliness terms, if the deceased were exposed to or passed away from a virus.
Hasta would recommend that all funeral businesses take a moment to review their practices and procedures and look at the cleaning and sanitation products that they are using, in order to determine their ability to provide protection to both staff and clients. Take a moment to understand contamination and cross-contamination control and ways in which to mitigate that spread of germs and pathogens. Remember that just because a surface looks ‘clean’ does not mean it is ‘clean’. On a recent First Class journey we conducted a spot test of a ‘clean’ table and the results indicated that there was an extreme risk of infection.
Our company would also recommend that businesses look at innovative products such as Zoono that offer non-toxic, family friendly and environmentally friendly protection. Zoono kills pathogens by a mechanical process known as Lysis that pierces the membrane of a cell and ‘explodes’ the cell thereby stopping the pathogen building up a resistance. Moreover, products such as Zoono offer un-paralleled protection lasting for up to 30 days on surfaces and up to 24 hours on the skin – continually killing pathogens that you come into contact with. We can offer consultancy, training and support in the use of Personal Protective Equipment, decontamination, cleaning and safe working procedures to protect staff and clients.