Cleaning to prevent the spread of Ebola

28th of August 2014
Cleaning to prevent the spread of Ebola

The Ebola virus disease (EVD) has made the news headlines around the world in recent weeks. This severe illness has a fatality rate of 90 per cent but the infection can be controlled through effective hygiene and cleaning measures.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) provides detailed information on its website, where you can find advice regarding the importance of hand hygiene, the wearing of protective equipment (PPE), and effective disposal of soiled and infected items and sharps.

The WHO recommends basic hand hygiene steps for individuals who might come in contact with populations at a higher risk of contracting Ebola. This includes using an alcohol-based hand rub and/or soap and running water plus good hand drying systems and, in particular, single-use towels. It is also vital to ensure the correct use of surface cleaning and sanitising chemicals.

Cleaning personnel in high-risk areas such as as airports or health care facilities should consider any bodily fluids as infectious and dispose of them according to local health care requirements for handling bio hazardous materials - according to WHO disposal recommendations.

All viruses require bio matter on which to survive. Therefore, to reduce the likelihood that a virus would survive on a surface, cleaning procedures must remove as much bio matter at possible. In addition to using the proper cleaner/disinfectant, cleaning must be done frequently enough to reduce the risk of a virus remaining on the surface too long, increasing the risk of someone coming in contact with it.

Industry trade association ISSA says its member companies can help in offering sound advice about proper cleaning frequencies, use of chemicals, and effective personal hygiene systems to reduce the risk of infection as much as possible.

Members can be found at



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