Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ebola Outbreak: Deployment of robot-like decontamination equipment to aid fight

In this Oct. 8, 2014, file photo, a sign points to the emergency room entrance at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where U.S. Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan was being treated, in Dallas. (AP / LM Otero, File)
A U.K.-based company is getting a lot of attention for its role in the fight against Ebola.
Shares of Bioquell jumped earlier this month as the company continues to deploy robot-like decontamination systems in western hospitals with suspected or confirmed Ebola cases.

Bioquell makes portable, remote-controlled systems that can decontaminate hospital rooms with a 35-per-cent hydrogen peroxide solution, which is released as a vapour. The company says the vapour enters “every nook and cranny” in a room to remove pathogens. It can also be used on electronic devices.

he technology is not new; it has been used before in the battle against hospital “superbugs,” such as MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

But Ebola fears have now put Bioquell and its equipment in the spotlight.

In a news release, the company said its vapour decontamination system is being used at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where Liberian Thomas Duncan was treated before he died from the Ebola virus.

“When a room is sealed, our vapour is distributed equally throughout the room ensuring that dangerous pathogens are eliminated,” Ed Striefsky, Bioquell’s director of operation, said.

The company says its equipment and decontamination teams have also been used elsewhere in the U.S., in the U.K., France and Holland since the most recent Ebola outbreak, which has claimed the lives of more than 4,500 people.


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