Wednesday, 30 June 2021

From dangerous and deadly to out of control

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From dangerous and deadly to out of control

Burt Rodrigues CEO of Biodx gives his thoughts on the fast spreading Delta variant and that it is unlike previous variants this doesn’t settle on surfaces but rather lingers in the air.

From dangerous and deadly to out of control

“When we first heard the words Covid-19 coming out of Wuhan in December 2019, subsequently named SARS-CoV-2, the world never dreamt of the pandemic that would emerge from what seemed to be a local Chinese virus.

“It wasn’t long before we saw this deadly disease move swiftly across the globe with the Alpha variant first being identified in the UK in early December 2019 showing a 50% higher transmission rate than the original Wuhan strain.

“By March 2020 CoV-2 hit our shores, quickly escalating to a countrywide lockdown level 5. The country breathed a collective sigh of relief when we found ourselves coming out of this lockdown from May that year. However by early December we found ourselves faced with a second wave, this time with the Beta variant showing an even stronger transmission rate. We were told that the essentials for staying safe were to make sure to disinfect your hands and surfaces, wash hands for 20 seconds where possible with soap and water, wear a mask and ensure you keep 1.5-2m away from other people.

“Following these rules made a difference. That was until May 2021 when the deadly Delta variant was first detected in South Africa showing a ‘significantly more infectious’ spread than any of the previous Covid-19 strains. From Sunday 27th June we found ourselves back in lockdown level 4, with figures displaying a frightening speed in the rise of this variant.

“This poses a whole new challenge in disinfection. Not only do you have to still be aware of disinfecting your hands and surfaces, you need to think about your ambient disinfectant - what you’re breathing in the air around you. The Beta variant settles on surfaces compared to the Delta variant both settles on surfaces and remains in the air.”

The air you breathe could be deadly

A recent study done by Professor Raina Macintyre, head of the biosecurity research programme at the University of New South Wales’s Kirby Institute in Australia found that, “In an indoor space where ventilation isn’t adequate, somebody with the infection could have come and gone, but the virus is still lingering in the air, meaning you could get infected.” She went on to say, “People are still stuck in that mindset of hand sanitiser and washing your hands, when actually the message we need to be getting out there is it’s in the air you breathe”. So disinfect your ambient space and wear a proper fitting mask (over your mouth and nose).

Rodrigues confirms this saying, “They have identified that the Delta variant stays suspended in the air for far longer than previous variants with a far higher transmission rate. Research companies that were paying attention since the outset of this pandemic had geared up for future variants, and have developed materials for such outcomes with aerosol foggers. Today these formulas have been tested for safety and compliance before being put out into the market. Now we have some new tools in disinfectants to help fight this Delta variant and make our atmosphere safe.”

Published in Health and Medicine