Update on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China

Jim Arbogast


By Jim Arbogast, Ph.D.

Hygiene Sciences and Public Health Advancements Vice President, GOJO Industries

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that they are closely monitoring an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in thousands of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan, with additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020.

Human Coronaviruses

Human coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected individual to other people(person-to-person).* Previously identified coronaviruses include SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. According to the CDC, many of the characteristics of this novel coronavirus and how it may affect people are still unclear, but one of the ways in which human coronavirus is most commonly spread is by touching surfaces with the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Disinfect Commonly Touched Areas

Since so many illnesses are transmitted by touch, it’s important to clean objects and surfaces employees frequently encounter. Disinfecting items around the office, such as door handles, elevator buttons, handrails, etc., as well as encouraging employees to disinfect items in their immediate work area, like their desk, computer and keyboard, helps eliminate the number of germs that are passed around and picked up by others.

Common Signs and Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of this illness include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The elderly and those with underlying health problems or compromised immune systems are considered most at risk. The CDC provides additional information on Symptoms and Diagnosis, Transmission, Prevention and Treatment on their website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/about/index.html.

Prevention of the Spread of Human Coronavirus

PURELL® Surface Disinfectants have demonstrated effectiveness against human Coronavirus strain 229E on hard, nonporous surfaces. These products qualify for emerging viral pathogen claims per EPA’s Guidance to Registrants: Process for Making Claims Against Emerging Viral Pathogens not on EPA-Registered Disinfectant Labels’ when used in accordance with the appropriate use directions. Therefore, PURELL® Surface Disinfectants can be used against Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) when used in accordance with the directions for use and a 1-minute contact time on hard, nonporous surfaces. Refer to the CDC website above for additional information.

The situation continues to evolve and is being monitored closely by public health authorities, including the CDC and World Health Organization. We will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.

* https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/about/transmission.html

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