The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed its guidelines a few days ago to clarify that the main way new coronaviruses can spread is from person to person. COVID-19 is less likely to travel from the surface and objects, but it is not impossible. Several studies have shown that the virus can survive on a variety of surfaces, and that touching the surface of a contaminated object with one hand can cause infection. And a new study suggests that new coronaviruses can spread easily, even from the surface, if the conditions are right.
Researchers from several universities examined the use of personal protective products (PPEs) in hospitals and how they caused COVID-19 exposure. The researchers, published in Medical Education, simulated the care of infected people. Medical staff are required to wear hats, protective clothing, gloves, eye masks, N95 masks and masks before entering the ward. The medical staff sprayed the patient down with non-toxic fluorescent fluid to simulate the virus and added the same solution to the simulated atomizer the patient used.
After the treatment, the paramedics were taken back to a room illuminated by black lights. The researchers examined the personal protective equipment that medical staff had to take off. The researchers found a fluorescent solution on the skin of health care workers, suggesting that they made a mistake in dealing with PPE after contact with the patient.
These solutions are often found on the staff member’s face and forearm, indicating that the worker needs to change the procedure during the PPE processing, as shown in the following illustration.
This study demonstrates the importance of PPE devices in hospitals treating PATIENTs with COVID-19 because they can significantly limit the exposure of the virus. But even so, medical personnel are at risk of exposure to the virus without proper protocols and training.
“It doesn’t sound unique, but hand hygiene is still extremely important,” Dr. Krutika Kuppalli told Healthline, saying people should avoid touching their faces whether they wear masks or not.
While the study focused on personal protective equipment for health care workers and front-line personnel, similar experiments have shown that the virus is easily transmitted from person to person. Japanese health authorities have exposed black light to a restaurant, showing that one person can infect nine others. At the end of the simulation, the restaurant was found to be full of invisible dyes, proving why strict hygiene measures and social alienation were recommended during an influenza pandemic.
Two months ago, YouTuber Mark Rober conducted a similar experiment inside the school where a teacher and a student were “infected” with a Glo bacterial powder that only appeared in black light. It turns out that the fake virus is easily transmitted to other children and is found on various surfaces in the classroom.
Around the same time, Vox released a video clip showing a soapy hand washing that mimics a viral substance that glows under ultraviolet light and can kill the new coronavirus.