From coronavirus and not only save a new protective coating for masks and respirators

a new type of Pneumonia caused by a coronavirus 2019-nCoV, continues to spread in China and beyond. According to the latest data of the state Committee of China, the infection has claimed the lives of 361 of the patient. Recorded 17205 infections. Recently the first case of infection with a fatal outcome was recorded outside of China.

it is not Surprising that the outbreak of a previously unknown disease caused panic. Today, many people, primarily residents of China, buying in pharmacies, medical mask packs.

However, according to specialists, surgical masks only protect from a major viral drops, whereas respiratory viruses (affecting the Airways), including coronavirus, are also distributed with much smaller droplets, called aerosols.

of Course, there are masks that are more efficiently filtered aerosols. But they have even less permeability than surgical masks (that is, they more difficult to breathe). In addition, they are more expensive and not too convenient for everyday use.

the Main problem is that no mask, no respirator is not able to kill the virus. This means that after deposition of the pathogen on them they can live on the surface of the filter from several hours to several days (recall that the usual cloth masks sold in pharmacies, should be changed every two hours).

the fact that viruses feel quite comfortable in such filters, and increases the likelihood of their spread: the virus can remain on hands when a person removes the mask, on the surface, where it was left, and so on.

Therefore, a team of scientists from the University of Alberta, funded by non-profit research organization in Canada called Mitacs, develops anti-virus coating for masks and respirators.

it is based on two common salt – sodium chloride and potassium chloride. When a drop of liquid of any size to come into contact with such a coating, of salt dissolved in it. When this the droplet subsequently evaporates, dissolved salts kristallizuetsya. Thus the sharp edges of the growing crystals break through the shell of the virus and kill it.

“We tested our system on three different [strains] influenza virus and showed that the virus on the surface of the mask with [salt] with the coating becomes inactive for five minutes and completely destroyed within 30 minutes,” said biomedical engineer Hyo-Jik Choi (Hyo-Jick Choi).

Now researchers are looking for partners who will help bring a new product to the market. It is expected that the sale of anti-virus masks will appear in the next 12-18 months.

it is Important that in the future this development will help to improve protection from any viral infections, including seasonal.

meanwhile, people using ordinary surgical masks, experts suggest to change them every couple of hours, before and after contact with a mask wash hands thoroughly, do not touch the filter material, do not store this mask not to wear it again.

“Surgical masks and respirators are currently the best method for personal protection, but the General population needs to be aware of their proper use. Otherwise, people may unknowingly contribute to the spread of pathogens such as coronavirus and influenza virus,” – said Choi.

by the Way, before “News.Science” told about the online map that everyone can follow the spread of a new coronavirus, and also about its origin and about the most common symptoms of “Wuhan pneumonia.”

Text: To.Science