How does coronavirus spreads. EE&G

HOW DOES THE CORONAVIRUS SPREAD?

WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS?
Coronavirus 2019-nCoV, more commonly referred to in the media as the coronavirus or COVID-19, is a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, China suspected to have originated in a large animal and seafood market. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which affect humans while others affect animals only. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a different type of Coronavirus but is NOT the same as what is now being generally labeled “the Coronavirus”.

HOW DOES THE CORONAVIRUS SPREAD?
While we are still learning more about the new COVID-19 virus, scientists believe the virus will act similarly to other more well-known Coronaviruses such as MERS or SARS. It is believed that the coronavirus spreads from person-to-person when in close proximity to each other. The standard accepted distance is about six feet. The virus is spread much like the flu by an infected person coughing or sneezing. This introduces tiny respiratory droplets that can enter a non-infected person’s mouth, nose, or be inhaled into the lungs. As with other respiratory viruses, individuals are typically considered to be most contagious when they are demonstrating the greatest level of symptoms.

HOW DOES THE CORONAVIRUS AFFECT SURFACES?
Contaminated droplets settle onto surfaces that people may touch thereby contaminating their hands. If they touch their eyes, mouth, or nose before properly disinfecting their hands they may then become infected.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THE CORONAVIRUS?
While the intensity of symptoms varies, with some individuals showing little or no symptoms and others demonstrating severe illness and even dying, the three main symptoms include;

• Fever (Above 101º F)

• Cough

• Shortness of breath

These symptoms may begin showing within two days of being exposed but may take as long as 14 days.

HOW CAN I HELP REDUCE THE RISK OF CONTAMINATION?
Knowledge is key to reducing the risk of infection from 2019-nCoV. The information included here is valuable, however, developments are made constantly so it is good to monitor official health channels such as the CDC.

Practicing good infection prevention practices, such as frequent hand washing, is also important especially in public buildings. These practices also include; properly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, respiratory hygiene, and avoiding close contact with individuals. Most practices discussed in the media do NOT protect the individual using the practices, but rather protect others in the instance the person is infected. For example, using a mask does prevent airborne droplets from spreading if the individual wearing the mask coughs or sneezes, however, the coronavirus is small enough to enter through the mask to the wearer. Properly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces may be one of the only truly preventative measures available.

Seek medical attention immediately. Call your doctor or local hospital and explain your situation to them. With it being a prime season for the Flu and respiratory viruses, it is important to cooperate with medical professionals to reach a proper diagnosis. They may ask you some questions to help such as have you or anyone you have been in contact with recently traveled to China, answer these questions honestly.

EE&G Responds to the crisis

EE&G Responds to The Covid-19 Crisis

In times of crisis like the one we are experiencing, solidarity and humanity are present in many ways, and everyone gives their best to collaborate. This is the case of the EE&G Group, who has always been on the community’s side to make it easier to help solve the difficulties in doing so.

Who is EE&G?

The EE&G Group dates back to 1986 and has been in business for over 33 years. EE&G has built its reputation in the Environmental Industry by providing quality and diversified expertise to its clients with an array of Contracting Services including; Environmental Contracting & Construction, Disaster, Restoration, Air Conditioning & Mechanical Contracting Services.

EE&G is headquartered in Miami Lakes, Florida, with convenient locations strategically selected in the States of Florida and Georgia. Today, thanks to their unsurpassed customer service and its multidisciplinary team of professionals, the EE&G brand has reached national recognition as experts in the Environmental Remediation, Restoration, and Construction Industry. Their experience is indisputable and today is recognized as experts by many institutions in the public and private sectors.

Currently, many companies are requesting their services for cleaning and disinfection of working areas, as is one specific case in South Florida, where EE&G responded to the community as soon as the COVI-19 Pandemic started by helping the City of Miami Lakes and his team of volunteers, with the sanitation, disinfection cleaning at the COHEA (City of Hialeah Educational Academy), where food delivery takes place every Friday in an effort to help the community and especially those most affected by COVID19 in the area.

“At this time of crisis we want to do everything we can to help all residents stay safe,” says one of EE&G’s employees.

EE&G is maintaining CDC guidance and cleaning protocols, in all their projects across Florida and Georgia states.

EE&G is assisting Clients to -prepare Covid-19 Disinfection Response plans for their buildings, so if and when an incident occurs, they are ready to respond and experience minimal downtime.  Be conservative and be prepared, as we all will be living with the presence of this virus for the immediate future.  They are working hard to assist public and private clients de such as temporary hospitals, police departments, and daycare facilities, residential buildings, hotels, and more.

If we all put our grain of sand, thinking about the common good and not the proper, as EE&G is doing, we will get out before this crisis that affects us all equally.

They can help you Protect your Biggest Assets; Your Employees and Your Operational Ability! For help with cleaning and disinfecting services call 866.334.9111 or get a free quote. 

 

 

corona virus, EE&G

Experts Examining Potential Symptom Known as ‘COVID toe’

Experts say “COVID toe” is a condition similar to skin damage from exposure to low temperatures.

Northwestern Medicine dermatologist Dr. Amy Paller said in a statement that she had seen images of about 30 cases of the condition. She emphasized that it’s still unknown whether this is related to COVID-19 and more testing is needed.

“We’re seeing this inflammatory response that we would normally see when someone was exposed to the cold temperature… like someone who has been playing outside with wet socks,” Dr. Esther Freeman, a dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told CBS News. “However, in this setting, we’re seeing it in warm climates and we’re seeing it in patients who have been indoors and sheltering in place.”

Beginning as a “pinkish-reddish rash,” it can turn purple over time and causes a burning sensation in some people, Freeman told The Washington Post.

However, the inflammation typically disappears without treatment in 2 to 3 weeks, she added.

Los Angeles will offer free COVID-19 tests to anyone who wants one

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city will offer free tests for COVID-19 to all residents who want one. People don’t need to have symptoms to get tested, but those with symptoms will get priority.

Study finds airborne coronavirus in hospitals

A new study in NatureTrusted Source found that the virus that causes COVID-19 was detected in the air in certain areas of two hospitals.

The two hospitals in Wuhan, China are at the center of the outbreak in that country. Researchers found evidence of aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 in the toilet area and in areas prone to crowding.

The study has given more information about whether the virus is easily transmitted through the air. Researchers said proper ventilation and disinfection may help stop the virus from spreading in other similar areas.

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Free meals are donated to medical workers in New York City. Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images
FDA expected to allow emergency use of drug to treat COVID-19

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to give emergency use authorization for the drug remdesivir to treat people with COVID-19.

The antiviral drug is being studied in multiple tests as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Early research has found that the drug may help people recover from the virus more quickly, according to the New York Times.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director for the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, told the New York Times that administering the drug to people with COVID-19 may shorten their recovery time by about a third.

“Although a 31 percent improvement doesn’t seem like a knockout 100 percent, it is a very important proof of concept because what it has proven is that a drug can block this virus,” Fauci said. “This is very optimistic.”

However, more research will need to be done to understand what — if any — long-term benefit there is to taking the drug.

Another study from the Lancet found no benefit for patients taking remdesivir compared to patients taking a placebo.

Help Prevent COVID-19 Spread in Your Home and Community

Help Prevent COVID-19 Spread in Your Home and Community

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, you should take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

What to Do If You Are Sick

Stay home except to get medical care

  • Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas.
  • Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated.
    Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency.
  • Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
    family separated
  • Separate yourself from other people and pets in your home
  • As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a cloth face covering.

Monitor your symptoms

  • Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and cough.
  • Trouble breathing is a more serious symptom that means you should get medical attention.
  • Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department.

Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

  • Call ahead. Many medical visits for routine care are being postponed or done by phone or telemedicine.
    If you have a medical appointment that cannot be postponed, call your doctor’s office, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients
  • If you are sick wear a cloth covering over your nose and mouth You should wear a cloth face covering, over your nose and mouth if you must be around other people or animals, including pets (even at home).
  • You don’t need to wear the cloth face covering if you are alone. If you can’t put on a cloth face covering (because of trouble breathing for example), cover your coughs and sneezes in some other way. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
  • This will help protect the people around you.

Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical-grade facemasks are reserved for healthcare workers and some first responders. You may need to improvise a cloth face-covering using a scarf or bandana.

coronavirus, EE&G

Cleaning and Disinfection of Households with People Isolated

  • Household members should educate themselves about COVID-19 symptoms and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in homes.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, keyboards, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
    • In the bedroom/bathroom dedicated to an ill person: consider reducing cleaning frequency to as-needed (e.g., soiled items and surfaces) to avoid unnecessary contact with the ill person.
  • As much as possible, an ill person should stay in a specific room and away from other people in their home, following home care guidance.
  • The caregiver can provide personal cleaning supplies for an ill person’s room and bathroom unless the room is occupied by a child or another person for whom such supplies would not be appropriate. These supplies include tissues, paper towels, cleaners, and EPA-registered disinfectants
  • If a separate bathroom is not available, the bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected after each use by an ill person. If this is not possible, the caregiver should wait as long as practical after use by an ill person to clean and disinfect the high-touch surfaces.
  • Household members should follow home care guidance when interacting with persons with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 and their isolation rooms/bathrooms.
How to clean and disinfect:
Hard (Non-porous) Surfaces
  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated to cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection products used. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, the most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products for (concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
    • Additionally, diluted household bleach solutions (at least 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite) can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute, and allowing proper ventilation during and after application. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
Soft (Porous) Surfaces
  • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:
Electronics
  • For electronics such as cell phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, and keyboards, remove visible contamination if present.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
    • Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics.
    • If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.
Linens, clothing, and other items that go in the laundry
  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard after each use. If using reusable gloves, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other household purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
    • If no gloves are used when handling dirty laundry, be sure to wash hands afterwards.
    • If possible, do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
    • Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
    • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces. If possible, consider placing a bag liner that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered.
covid-19

General Recommendations for Routine Cleaning and Disinfection of Households (COVID-19)

There is much to learn about the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Based on what is currently known about COVID-19, spread from person-to-person of this virus happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. On the other hand, the transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documentedRecent studies indicate that people who are infected but do not have symptoms likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19. Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites. Current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for the prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.

It is unknown how long the air inside a room occupied by someone with confirmed COVID-19 remains potentially infectious. Facilities will need to consider factors such as the size of the room and the ventilation system design (including flowrate [air changes per hour] and location of supply and exhaust vents) when deciding how long to close off rooms or areas used by ill persons before beginning disinfection.  Taking measures to improve ventilation in an area or room where someone was ill or suspected to be ill with COVID-19 will help shorten the time it takes respiratory droplets to be removed from the air.

This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of households where persons under investigation (PUI) or those with confirmed COVID-19 reside or maybe in self- isolation. It is aimed at limiting the survival of the virus in the environment. These recommendations will be updated if additional information becomes available.

These guidelines are focused on household settings and are meant for the general public.

  • Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
  • Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
General Recommendations for Routine Cleaning and Disinfection of Households
    • Community members can practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics (see below for special electronics cleaning and disinfection instructions)) with household cleaners and EPA-registered that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during the use of the product.
      • For electronics follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products. Consider the use of wipeable covers for electronics. If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or spray containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid the pooling of liquids.

If you need help with cleaning and disinfection contact us 866.334.9111 

coronavirus

How do COVID-19 symptoms differ from cold symptoms?

Coronaviruses are actually one of the many types of viruses that can cause the common cold. In fact, it’s estimated that four types of human coronavirus account for 10 to 30 percent trusted Source of upper respiratory infections in adults.

Some symptoms of the common cold are:

  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • body aches and pains
  • headache

How can you tell if you have a cold or COVID-19? Consider your symptoms. A cold is typically precededTrusted Source by a sore throat and runny nose, which are less common symptoms of COVID-19.

Additionally, fever isn’t as common in a cold.

You may have heard COVID-19 being compared to the flu, a common seasonal respiratory illness. How can you tell the difference between the symptoms of these two infections?

First off, the symptoms of the flu often come on suddenlyTrusted Source while COVID-19 symptoms appear to develop more gradually. Common symptoms of the flu include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • cough
  • fatigue
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • body aches and pains
  • vomiting or diarrhea

As you can see, there’s some overlap in symptoms between COVID-19 and the flu, such as cough, fever, and fatigue. However, it’s important to note that many common symptoms of the flu are observed less often in cases of COVID-19.

The WHO also notes trusted Source the following differences between the two:

  • The flu has a shorter incubation period than that of COVID-19.
  • Transmitting the virus prior to developing symptoms drives many influenza infections but doesn’t appear to play as much of a role for COVID-19.
  • The percentage of people who develop serious symptoms or complications appears higher for COVID-19 than for the flu.
  • COVID-19 appears to impact children with less frequency than the flu does.
  • There’s currently no vaccine or antivirals available for COVID-19. However, interventions are available for the flu.
How do COVID-19 symptoms differ from hay fever symptoms?

Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, is another condition that may cause respiratory symptoms. It occurs due to exposure to allergens in your environment, such as pollenmolddust, or pet dander.

The symptoms of hay fever include:

One of the hallmark symptoms of hay fever is itching, which isn’t observed in COVID-19. Additionally, hay fever isn’t associated with symptoms like fever or shortness of breath.

Preventing COVID-19

How to Wash Your Hands – Preventing COVID-19

It’s one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community. And if you’re like us, you’ve probably been doing it wrong.

We asked the experts how to wash our hands. After they taught us the proper technique (above), we had a few more questions:

Is Will touching the wet faucet really ruin everything?

Yes.

The faucet may have the same germs you started with! Use a tissue or paper towel to turn it off once your hands are clean. You don’t want to begin again, do you?

How hard do I have to scrub?

Most people don’t rub vigorously enough, said Barbara Smith, a nurse epidemiologist and infection prevention specialist at Mount Sinai Health Systems in New York.

When you wash your hands, you are using soap and water to physically dislodge germs from your skin and then rinse them away.

Do I really have to dry my hands all the way?

Most people don’t dry thoroughly enough. Germs love moisture. And don’t be afraid to use a little force here too: You are physically removing whatever germs remain.

Do I have to use paper towels?

No. Cloth towels are fine for personal use but should be washed every few days — more if multiple people use the same towel. A sick person should use a separate towel. Use paper towels for guests!

What about an air dryer?

In terms of hygiene, paper towels are best. Hand dryers are OK, so long as you dry your hands thoroughly. There is inconclusive research that suggests a higher germ concentration around some hand dryers, but using a hand dryer is definitely better than wiping your hands on your pants.

What’s the best way to know you’ve washed for 20 seconds?

One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand…

Sign up to receive our daily Coronavirus Briefing, an informed guide with the latest developments and expert advice.

Does it matter what kind of soap I use?

Liquid soap is best. Bar soap is fine too, just don’t let it sit around in a gloppy dish. Remember: germs love moisture.

When should I be washing my hands?

  • Before you leave the house (to protect others from your germs).

  • And when you arrive at your destination (to wash off germs you’ve picked up from doorknobs, elevator buttons, public transportation, etc.)

  • Before and after you eat or prepare food.

  • Before and after you clean your home.

  • After you blow your nose, cough or sneeze.

  • After you use the bathroom or change a diaper.

  • After you feed or touch a pet.

What about lotion for dry hands?

Yes, but use your own personal supply (most lotion does not contain antibacterial agents, so it should not be shared). And don’t forget to keep the bottle and dispenser clean!

Can I still paint my nails?

Yes, but it’s best to keep your nails short and your manicure fresh. Germs can live in cracked and chipped polish.

What’s the technique with hand sanitizer?

Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, and scrub your hands the same way you would with soap and water. Be sure to use enough liquid so you can reach every surface of your hands.

Note: If you’ve seen the recipe circulating on social media for homemade sanitizer using aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol, we tried it and it didn’t work. You’ll just wind up with a batch of diluted alcohol.

Is hand-washing really that important?

“Your hands carry almost all your germs to your respiratory tract. Keeping them as clean as possible is really helpful,” said Dr. Adit Ginde, professor of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “It would dramatically reduce transmission if people did it well.”

viruses and bacterias

Viruses, Bacteria, and Mold | Pesticide Research Institute

Mold, bacteria, and viruses can cause problems in any household. While not all microbes are bad, some are capable of compromising your health and causing disease. Mold and mildew can produce allergens that can exacerbate respiratory problems, and pathogenic bacteria and viruses are responsible for giving you everything from the common cold to food-borne illnesses.

PREVENTING AND MANAGING MOLD, BACTERIA, AND VIRUSES

Cleaning is a top-level strategy for removing mold and bacteria. This work can be quite a chore but it is necessary to keep yourself and your family healthy. A few additional steps can be taken to reduce the possibility of these microbes causing a problem around your home.

Utilize natural light and circulating air

  • Open a window or turn on a fan to move moist air out and reduce the likelihood of mildew forming in the bathroom. Mold and mildew are often a problem in bathrooms because of the moisture.
  • Use the sun: UV rays can kill bacteria, and leaving items exposed to strong sunlight for several hours can help to disinfect them.

Stop mold from growing by fixing leaks right away

  • Fix leaky pipes or water spills right away to help make sure that mold never has a chance to start growing.

Practice clean kitchen techniques

  • Ensure that raw foods such as meat are kept separate from other foods in the refrigerator to avoid intestinal problems caused by foodborne illnesses.
  • Clean counters and cutting boards thoroughly after they have come into contact with raw foods. If a cutting board is not dishwasher safe, clean it thoroughly with warm soapy water after use.
  • Make sure that cold foods stay cold and hot foods stay hot to keep bacteria from growing. Keep your refrigerator at 40°F or below and put leftover food in the refrigerator as soon as possible.
  • Cook meats to the right temperature to make sure they are safe to eat: 145°F for whole meats, 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for poultry.
Hand Washing

Wash hands

  • Wash hands frequently to help prevent transmission of pathogenic bacteria or viruses. Soap and water are a powerful tool and in most cases are just as effective as antibacterial soaps.

Be careful with children, toys, and pets

  • Keep toys clean. Children’s bath toys can retain water, which encourages the growth of mold.
  • Avoid sharing bath towels. Sharing is not recommended since this can spread bacteria and viruses, especially when someone in the household has a cold.
  • Wash hands after playing with pets or handling pet waste.
Pest Smart mobile app
PRIApp_SearchRead on for information on natural cleaners for mold, bacteria, and viruses. Also included is a comparison of active ingredients commonly used in antimicrobial products.Interested in finding out more about specific antimicrobial products? The Pest Smart app is now available in the iTunes Store. Conveniently access pesticide data on your iPhone and iPad while on the job, in the store, and at home.

  • Search by product name or registration number.
  • Search by the pest to find pesticide products that target common household and garden pests like ants, fleas, cockroaches, lawn weeds and aphids.
  • Quickly verify the eligibility of a pesticide product for use in the LEED v4-certified Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.
  • Compare products and find least-toxic alternatives to streamline decision-making.
  • Link to PRI’s Pest Management Bulletins to learn about low-impact methods of pest control that minimize pesticide use and exposure.

Low Impact Approaches

Natural Cleaners for Mold, Bacteria, and Viruses

Various combinations of household items such as vinegar, baking soda, and plain soap can be used as cleaning agents in the home and are just as effective as harsher chemical products for many applications. Whether you want to avoid using these harsh chemicals because of asthma or other sensitivities or are just looking for a cost-effective set of cleaning tools, the following list highlights the most important cleaners.

Vinegar

  • Vinegar works best at full strength (5% acetic acid) but the addition of several drops of essential oil will improve the smell for those that are sensitive. Vinegar is effective for cleaning mildew in the shower or can be used as an after-shower spray to prevent the growth of new mildew. Vinegar can also be used to kill some bacteria and viruses, including Salmonella and E. coli, and is useful for cleaning counters or cutting boards and removing smells.
  • NEVER mix vinegar with bleach or ammonia because it forms harmful chlorine or chloramine gases. Be careful not to clean with vinegar and then with bleach after, as the residue may still react.
Cleaning supplies

Baking soda

  • Baking soda has antifungal properties and is registered by the US EPA as a biopesticide.
  • Mix baking soda with water to make a paste that is effective at removing mold or mildew in the grout between tiles. Baking soda has many properties that make it useful as an all-purpose cleaner and can be used as a scouring agent.

Tea tree oil

  • Tea tree oil is more expensive than some other natural remedies but is effective at killing mold and mildew. After scrubbing off mildew using a tea tree oil solution, apply a little extra to prevent more mildew from growing back.
  • Many bacterial species are susceptible to tea tree oil, including Streptococcus pyogenesStaphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli.

Salt 

  • Salt is a microbial inhibitor. Many microorganisms need moist conditions to thrive, making salt an efficient way to reduce the amount of water available for microbes to grow.
  • Salt also interferes with microbe enzyme activity and weakens the molecular structure of bacterial and fungal DNA.

Household hydrogen peroxide

  • A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution can be used to remove and prevent the growth of mildew and mold.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is registered as a sterilizer and is effective against the HIV-1 virus, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Norovirus. Higher concentrations of peroxide are available as cleaning products and are also effective against many pathogenic bacteria and viruses, but are corrosive to skin and eyes.

Lemon juice

  • Lemon juice is a versatile cleaner and can be used in combination with baking soda or salt to inhibit the growth of some bacteria.
  • Using a stronger cleaner is advised for cleansing surfaces that come in contact with raw meat.

Many of these natural cleaners can help reduce problems caused by other household pests as well. Wiping counters with vinegar can kill microbes as well as prevent pests such as ants and cockroaches finding food in your kitchen, without resorting to harmful pesticides.  See our bulletins on ants and cockroaches for more information.

Antimicrobial Pesticides for Treating Mold, Bacteria, and Viruses

Potential Consequences of Using Antimicrobial Pesticides

Antimicrobial pesticides can be beneficial for protecting human health and are required in some institutional settings such as daycare centers, restaurants, and other food-handling establishments. If you are caring for an immune-compromised person or running a daycare center, proper disinfection or sanitation of surfaces is particularly important, and antimicrobial pesticides are an important tool. Nevertheless, there are adverse effects associated with their use, such as:

  • The overuse of some antimicrobial agents may be a factor contributing to the development of resistant bacteria, so use only when needed.
  • Because many of these products are available as aerosol sprays, exposure through inhalation is possible and can cause respiratory and eye irritation and exacerbate asthma.
  • Many of these products are effective at sanitizing and disinfecting because they are oxidizing agents or are strongly acidic or basic. These characteristics result in hazards from spills on skin or in the eyes, or via inhalation.

Be sure to follow the label instructions carefully and read all warnings.

Types of antimicrobial pesticides

Antimicrobial pesticides are used to destroy or stop the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. They are designed to be used on inanimate objects only and can be found as sprays, liquids, concentrated powders, wipes, and gases (mostly for hospital use).

There are several different types of anti-microbial products and it is important to know their intended use. The US EPA has very specific definitions for each one:

  • Cleaner: A product that physically removes debris from the surface.
  • SanitizerA product that kills 99.9% of the germs identified on its label.
  • DisinfectantA product that kills nearly 100% of the germs identified on its label. Destroys most pathogens but not bacterial spores.
  • Sterilizer: A product that destroys all microorganisms, including bacterial spores.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) further classifies disinfectants as high, intermediate, and low level disinfectants, which has to do with which particular microorganisms it inactivates and the concentration at which it is active.

The antimicrobial activity of the product is affected by the concentration of the active ingredients and the dwell time.

  • Dwell time: The amount of time that the product must remain on the surface for optimum antimicrobial activity. Typically included on the label.
  • Concentration of active ingredients: The concentration of an active ingredient varies from product to product, so read the label to determine if a product can be used as a disinfectant or only as a sanitizer.The percent of the active ingredient and the inert ingredients in a product may also change the hazards associated with a particular product.

The US EPA registers antimicrobial products and ensures that labels may not make claims about their effectiveness that are not supported by data. They have also compiled a list of registered products that are effective against specific pathogens, including tuberculosis bacteria, HIV-1 virus, and hepatitis C. For the lists of these products and others, see their website on Selected EPA-Registered Disinfectants.

The following table provides the hazards associated with specific active ingredients. Products may contain other ingredients or more than one active ingredients, so be sure to carefully read the label for any additional or different hazard warnings. According to the EPA, there are approximately 275 active ingredients that are used in antimicrobial products, so we have provided a partial list of some of the types of products you may encounter.

Can UV light kill coronavirus

Can UV light kill Coronavirus?

Hospitals turn to ultraviolet light to purge COVID-19

By Will Nicol, Senior Writer

Soap and hand sanitizer have been some of the most popular products since the COVID-19 (commonly called coronavirus) outbreak went worldwide, and with hospitals everywhere facing a torrent of patients, disinfection is a constant need. In response, a lot of hospitals are turning to nature’s disinfectant, ultraviolet light, to sanitize rooms and even face masks (which are in short supply).

How exactly does UV light kill viruses, and will it work on coronavirus? Essentially, UV radiation can damage DNA, wrecking its ability to replicate. The medical world has used UV light as a disinfectant for years, and studies have shown it is effective in dealing with past coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS. However, don’t clean your hands with a UV lamp, as many spectrums of UV light can damage human DNA, too.

Looking for toilet paper? You can still buy online

By John Velasco, Smart Home Editor

It’s hard to imagine a time when toilet paper of all things would be considered a rare commodity, but here we are with shoppers around the country finding stores and shelves devoid of stock. While some may panic about the situation, you should know that it’s still possible to order toilet paper online. Yes, online and potentially delivered to your front door — if you’re somehow lucky.

How can you snag yourself a roll, or perhaps a larger supply to tide you over through this crisis? Well, you need to constantly check online and think outside of the box. Most people would be inclined to check out retailers such as Amazon and Walmart, but you may have better luck looking at unconventional places such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Staples, and even local grocers.

Sure, prices may be higher now, but you can still save by ditching the single-roll purchase and opting for a bulk pack. If you’re thinking about severing that reliance on toilet paper, then consider getting a bidet. We hear they’re becoming quite popular now!

What happens when you can’t work from home

By Mathew Katz, Associate Managing Editor

“The internet is in no way a part of my job,” Ariel Sharone, general manager of New Orleans bar and jazz club the Maison told us earlier this week. He’s one of the millions of people who can’t work online in a time of social distancing. While many of us have been able to transition to online-only working from home with relative ease, that’s not possible for people who work at grocery stores, dog walkers, restaurant servers, all of whom are still expected to go into work.

Grocery store workers are particularly hard hit, being forced to interact with hundreds of people. One Costco employee told reporters Maya Shwayder and Mythili Sampathkumar he’s terrified of bringing coronavirus home to his family. Another person working at Walmart said they haven’t earned enough paid time off to cover her shifts if she got sick. While some tech companies are trying to help support these workers with education or remote-working apps, there hasn’t been an effective solution, meaning there’s an entire class of worker that is more at risk for the virus than those of us who can work from home.

Why Houseparty is the perfect app for the coronavirus era

By Paul Squire, News Editor

Millions across the country are grappling with staying inside and practicing social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Instagram users are posting about their mental health struggles and apps to bridge the physical divide among friends that are exploding in popularity.

Enter Houseparty, a social video chatting app that’s seen its user base skyrocket with millions of new downloads in recent weeks. The service — first launched in 2016 — allows you to quickly chat with friends in rooms of up to eight people at a time. You can see which of your friends are able to chat, and pals can be notified when you come online, too.

With features allowing you to send friends video messages, share your screen or play games together like trivia or Heads Up, Houseparty may be a useful way to beat coronavirus cabin fever.

What we’re playing: Animal Crossing is the game the world needs right now

By Lisa Marie Segarra, Gaming Editor

While the world stews in chaos and quarantine due to the coronavirus, many have escaped to the twee world of Animal Crossing: New HorizonsThe fifth entry in the series, New Horizons has already outsold all of its successors, and that’s just from its stellar sales figures.

And it’s easy to see why. As people across the world isolate in their homes, New Horizons offers players their own island, where you can visit with animal villagers or friends online.

The latter has inspired people to re-create whatever they’ve lost in the pandemic. Complementary to the Zoom happy hour, players are hosting canceled weddings and birthday parties on their islands instead of in person.

Plus, it’s great fun and has tons of small elements to explore between filling out your museum or decorating your home. With so much forced time at home, it’s a great way to pass the hours.

What we’re listening to Podcasts for kids that adults will like, too 

By Jenny McGrath, Senior Writer

If you’re trying to limit your kids’ screen time but still want to keep them entertained, podcasts are a great option. We rounded up podcast recommendations for preschoolers through high schoolers. Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl and Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child both have kid-friendly music that won’t drive you crazy. The Past and the Curious melds a bunch of fascinating facts into entertaining episodes about the history of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and hot dogs. Science fans are spoiled for choice: Check out Brains OnBut Why, or Tumble. And those are just the choices for ages 10 and under. There are lots of options for storytime, but Ahway Island is for if you’re actually trying to get a child to fall asleep. We have a ton more choices in our roundup if none of those strike your (or your tween’s) fancy.