Viruses spread through office buildings within hours

It takes just a couple of hours for a virus to spread through an office building, hotel or healthcare facility, after just a single doorknob or table top is contaminated. according to a new study.

Researchers in the US have found that when they contaminated a single doorknob or table top with a ‘tracer virus’ it spread within two to four hours. And their findings showed 40 to 60 per cent of workers, as well as visitors, were infected after touching objects in the building. 

The research was presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), an infectious disease meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. In the study, researchers used tracer virus bacteriophage MS-2 which mimicks the stomach bug norovirus, as it is similar in shape, size and is similarly resistant to disinfectants. 

Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, is the most common stomach bug in the UK and is highly contagious.. It can affect people of all ages and causes vomiting and diarrhoea. 

As part of the new study, the tracer virus was placed on one or two commonly touched surfaces like a door know or table top at the beginning of the day. After various time period between two to eight hours the scientists sampled 60 to 100 fomites, surfaces capable of carrying infections organisms and found that within two to four hours 40 to 60 percent of the foimites were contaminated with the virus. 

Foimites included light switches, bed rails, table tops, countertops, push buttons, coffee pot handles, sink tap handles, door knobs, phones and computer equipment. 

Professor Charles Gerba, of the University of Arizona in Tuscon, U.S., said: “The results shown that viral contamination of fomites in facilities occurs quickly, and that a simple intervention can greatly help to reduce exposure to viruses.” 

Biomaster antibacterial protection offers a built-in defence against harmful bacteria and is proven to kill bugs such as Norovirus on surface contact. The technology can be specified into any permanent feature within buildings such as walls, floors, door handles, radiators, worktops and air conditioning units. 

Using Biomaster in features of your buildings gives them long term and effective antimicrobial properties, reducing the level of harmful bacteria in the environment and the likelihood of cross contamination.

*Please note that Addmaster was acquired by the Polygiene Group AB in January 2021, so all news articles prior to that date will still be branded as Addmaster.