• Healthcare workers on the front lines of the novel coronavirus pandemic are at the highest risk of becoming infected, especially in hospitals where the influx of coronavirus patients is exhausting the supply of face masks and other protective measures.
  • A hospital in New Jersey has become the first in the United States to use an emerging new solution called the NanoVapor BioTech Microbial Suppression System.
  • The system is FDA-approved, and it involves coating objects surfaces with a special disinfectant spray that kills viruses like the novel coronavirus on contact for 70 days or more.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

The novel coronavirus outbreak that began as a handful of mysterious viral infections in Wuhan, China has been getting progressively worse. It began moving west last month into Europe, which is now the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. There was hope in the early days of the new coronavirus’s spread to the United States that quick and dramatic action would limit the scope of the outbreak, but the White House instead chose to downplay the severity of the disease until it was too widespread to contain. Once it became glaringly obvious that we were in the midst of a national crisis, individual states began taking it upon themselves to enact measures to slow the spread of the deadly virus. Needless to say, it was far too late at that point, and the US is now on pace to eventually eclipse the COVID-19 death toll in China in the coming weeks and months. Vaccines are in development and treatments are being tested, but the outbreak will have peaked long before anything becomes widely available.

Now, the smartest thing we can do is to shelter in place and avoid leaving our homes unless it is absolutely necessary, and then practice social distancing and good hygiene. Of course, healthcare workers don’t have the luxury of staying home. They’re now tasked with staffing the nation’s hospitals and treating people suffering from COVID-19, putting themselves in harm’s way all the while.

There are obviously several measures that healthcare professionals take in order to protect themselves as well as they can. Medical-grade face masks help prevent them from becoming infected with COVID-19, as does regular use of disinfectant and hand-washing. But one New Jersey hospital is taking an exciting additional measure to protect its staff and patients, and it involves an intriguing new treatment for surfaces and objects in the hospital.

It’s called the NanoVapor BioTech Microbial Suppression System, or MSS. It’s a large-scale application system that uses a special sprayer to apply antimicrobial nanoparticles to surfaces and objects. NanoVapor’s solution doesn’t just disinfect, however. It’s a special biodegradable coating that continues to protect surfaces by killing bacteria, fungi, mold, and even viruses like the novel coronavirus for weeks or even months following its application.

In its tests, the company measured a 99.8% reduction in microbial count 70 days after application, and it remains effective for up to 90 days.

“The MSS system can distribute its microbial agent quickly and on a significant large scale in places like hospitals, shopping malls, municipal and office buildings, schools, houses of worship, airports and other public transportation hubs and vehicles,” said Chief of Surgery for Hudson Regional Hospital Dr. Maurizio Miglietta in a statement. Miglietta is also the Clinical Medical Director for NanoVapor BioTech, which explains why Hudson Regional is the first hospital to adopt the solution.

Miglietta’s colleague and Hudson Regional Hospital CEO Dr. Nizar Kifaieh added, “Without a current cure for COVID-19, the best strategy to flatten the curve is implementing preventative measures to keep our patients, clinicians, and practitioners safe. The NanoVapor BioTech system is a game-changer in preventing the spread of illness.”

Here’s how NanoVapor explains the solution on its website:

Our MSS (Microbial Suppression System) creates a submicroscopic molecular coating that eliminates the growth of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and molds on both hard and soft surfaces. This durable barrier continues to provide antimicrobial protection for months, even on high-touch areas. Unlike other methods, our patented MSS delivery units can quickly deliver protection for large-scale commercial and industrial applications, including airports and train stations.

The MSS antimicrobial agent utilizes a non-toxic, water-based, biodegradable formula that is completely safe for humans and the environment. Its application will not harm electronics, keyboards, or touchscreens.

It seems almost too good to be true, but NanoVapor’s solution is FDA-approved. It has obviously never been tested before at this scale in such a high-risk environment, so we’ll be eager to see how Hudson Regional’s rate of healthcare worker infections compares to other hospitals in the months to come.

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.