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20.11.2014

Infection prevention affects everyone!

Fully virucidal products provide better protection. Humans are under constant attack from germs such as viruses and bacteria. They stick to objects, surfaces and hands, are spread from one person to another, transmitted by coughing and sneezing, and breathed in and out. The immune system usually protects the body from illness, but this self-defence does not always work perfectly. The resulting health consequences can range from a light cold to the flu diarrhoea and measles to hepatitis or the deadly Ebola. Vaccination protects against some viruses, but there are not vaccines for all of them. Hygiene is thus a fundamental component of effective infection prevention around the world. This applies not only to private life, but to the entire public health and veterinary sector. Fastidious hygiene is essential at doctor and dental surgeries as well.

The problem is that there are no uniform hygiene standards, such as those provided by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Germany, which apply to all countries. Yet ever more countries are using these guidelines as a paradigm for their own hygiene standards.
The RKI recommends fully virucidal disinfection procedures for both the medical and dental sectors. When it comes to disinfecting difficult spaces and surfaces in combination with stubborn, non-enveloped viruses, fully virucidal products simply deliver the highest possible protection against infection. Limited virucidal preparations are only effective against enveloped viruses, while fully virucidal agents also render all non-enveloped viruses harmless.
However, the spectrum of action of each disinfectant and the usages for which they are suited are not always clear. This is because the biological differences between viruses, bacteria, and fungi mean that disinfectants with a bactericidal and fungicidal effect are not necessarily effective against all viruses. The stability of viruses differs, too. Enveloped viruses such as herpes and HIV are easier to kill via disinfection than nonenveloped viruses such as noroviruses. Members of the surgery team therefore often ask themselves whether a partially virucidal product is sufficient or if a fully virucidal product should be used.

In Germany the RKI requires fully virucidal effectiveness for terminal disinfection of semi-critical medical devices (Federal Health Bulletin 10-2012 pg. 1254). It is also important that disinfectants be tested, certified and listed by a professional association (e.g. by the Association for Applied Hygiene, VAH), because only then can effectiveness be verified on the basis of concrete tests. Beyond this, other factors such as exposure time, concentration and application method influence the success of disinfection measures and make clear manufacturer instructions, such as provided on Dürr Dental products, indispensable. They help to keep errors to a minimum.

Even today, Dürr Dental supplies a range of limited- and fully-virucidal products, their effectiveness tested by independent experts, for the main application areas of instrument and surface disinfection. Thanks to their short exposure times, the preparations also give a time advantage that helps ensure faster infection protection than other products.

Published by: rf/tk 04/16
Infection prevention a ects everyone!

Infection prevention a ects everyone!

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