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Can you spray disinfectant in the air to prevent Novel Coronavirus spreading through air?

Can you spray disinfectant in the air to prevent Novel Coronavirus spreading through air?

Last Reviewed : 12/15/2020
Can you spray disinfectant in the air to prevent Novel Coronavirus spreading through air?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended several disinfectants to prevent COVID-19 infection. Most commonly used disinfectants have 70% alcohol in them. Other disinfectants like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite, phenol, etc.

The following link provides the list of all the disinfectants approved by CDC. The list is available on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

Disinfectants should be used regularly to clean surfaces of the commonly used objects like phones, light switches, laptops, remotes, furniture, faucets, toilet seats and door knobs. This is more important when an infected person is quarantined in the household.

As majority of COVID-19 affected people (around 80%) only have mild symptoms, they are recommended to self quarantine at home. They should remain in one room through out the quarantine and should not share any objects with others. Using disinfectants to clean their rooms regularly is very important.

As there is a concern that COVID-19 can spread through air, there has been a notion that it can be killed if disinfectant is sprayed in the air. First of all, the risk of airborne spread in the community is extremely low. Unfortunately, household disinfectants do not kill virus floating as small droplets in the air. Spraying a high amount of disinfectant in air in a closed space may even cause breathing problems.

Disinfectant spray-fog techniques are used in healthcare facilities but they are not very effective to prevent infection. Nowadays, ultraviolet irradiation is getting more common in healthcare facilities to reduce air contamination.

Disinfectant should not sprayed on a person to prevent coronavirus infection. Using soap and water is probably the best solution.

 

References:

  1. Villacís JE et al. Efficacy of pulsed-xenon ultraviolet light for disinfection of high-touch surfaces in an Ecuadorian hospital. BMC Infect Dis. 2019 Jul 3;19(1):575. doi: 10.1186/s12879-019-4200-3.

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