The Yeovil Hospital Norovirus outbreak, first announced on April 3rd is now in its 21st day, and has spread from the initial 2 affected wards to a third..
Incredibly, the hospital decided to attempt to halt this highly contagious form of gastroenteritis WITHOUT using bleach or disinfectant, instead putting their trust in the Ultra-V device from Hygiene Solutions, which has never been tested on norovirus or any other type of virus before.
In fact, the only published study of Ultra-V shows that it has an efficacy of LESS THAN LOG 1. This test was done in the Wye Valley NHS Trust hospital in Hertford, and the sampling and incubation of the samples was carried out by Hygiene Solutions themselves.
To put that in context, ordinary household Dettol, as everyone knows, kills 99.9% of germs. The Ultra-V by the manufacturer’s own test results, kills less than 90%, and that is only where the UV light hits the surface directly. In the shadowed areas of the room it will be almost completely useless.
So in real terms, if a door handle was carrying 1000 norovirus germs, ordinary household Dettol would leave on average one germ alive. Ultra-V would leave more than 100 germs alive, and only if the light could somehow illuminate both sides of the handle at once.
Since 1865, when Joseph Lister introduced carbolic acid as a wound dressing, and operating theatre spray, countless millions or perhaps billions of lives have been saved by simple disinfectants, both in healthcare settings and by household disinfectants and chlorinated drinking water. There is probably no other single discovery that has done more to relieve human misery and suffering. 150 years of experience, scientific testing and advances in chemistry have produced an excellent range of effective, proven disinfectants, that are both inexpensive and can be applied by very simple spray and wipe methods.
Why then should all this be abandoned, at the worst possible moment, in favour of a hugely expensive, unproven device that by the manufacturer’s own published test results achieves only 100th of the effectiveness of ordinary Dettol?