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Study Reveals Effective Cleaning Solution for Newly Named Coronavirus

February 12, 2020

As human coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), can remain active on surfaces for up to nine days, professional cleaners have been concerned about finding an effective cleaning solution to eliminate it. A study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection found using a solution that is 62% to 72% ethanol, .5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite within one minute of contact time will kill the virus. In contrast, the scientists found that solutions containing 0.04% benzalkonium chloride, 0.06% sodium hypochlorite and 0.55% ortho-phtalaldehyde were less effective.

To determine the correct cleaning chemical formula, investigators with University Medicine Greifswald and Ruhr University Bochum in Germany looked at 22 studies that dealt with disinfection techniques for human coronavirus such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, or endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV). The researchers looked at studies that provided original data on coronaviruses including their persistence on surfaces and materials and their inactivation due to biocidal disinfecting agents.

Investigators stressed that using the proper solution is only one part of the equation and that cleaning and disinfection procedures must be followed consistently and correctly to be effective.

Regarding the new name for the coronavirus, which was announced Tuesday, WHO officials said they were careful to choose a name that was easy to pronounced and did not inspire stigma, as it did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, or a group of people.

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