As the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world, it’s a good time to understand how cleaning can help prevent the spread of disease and what you can do to cut the risk of infection in your home.
Coronavirus is mainly transmitted from person to person via tiny droplets of saliva or other bodily fluids that float in the air after a cough or sneeze.
Contaminated objects and surfaces can also be important in the transmission of disease. It’s not entirely clear what role they play in transmitting the new coronavirus, but they play an important one for related viruses such as SARS and MERS.
However, it makes sense that something contaminated with the virus could pass it on, for example if a person touches it and then touches their nose, mouth or face.
So, if someone at risk of having the virus has been in your home, cleaning to reduce the amount of contamination on surfaces may help cut down your risk of further transmission of coronavirus. (It will also cut the risk of transmitting other pathogens.)
Clean and Disinfect
The first thing you’ll want to know is that cleaning and disinfecting are two very different things. The CDC recommends we all do a bit of both, even if nobody in your home is sick.
· Cleaning is about removing contaminants from a surface.
· Disinfecting is about killing pathogens.
· Do both daily if anything or anyone has entered or exited your home.
Transmission from person-to-person is a much greater risk than transmission via surfaces, but the CDC recommends we clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in our homes at least once daily just to be safe, assuming we have had contact with the outside world in some way, either a person leaving and returning or goods coming in.
Target Your Home’s High-Touch Surfaces
Researchers have found that the novel coronavirus is capable of living on surfaces such as cardboard for 24 hours, but up to two or three days on plastic and stainless steel. So disinfecting high-touch surfaces is a step we should all take.
High-Touch Surfaces to Clean and Disinfect Daily:
Everyone’s home is a little different, so just think about the surfaces you interact with most.
First Clean, Then Disinfect:
1. First, clean the surfaces, removing any contaminants, dust, or debris. You can do this by wiping them with soapy water (or a cleaning spray) and a hand towel.
2. Then apply a surface-appropriate disinfectant. The quickest and easiest way to do this is with disinfecting wipes or disinfectant spray.
Just adding these to your daily routine can help lower the risk of infection for you and anyone else in your household.