What is a Virucide?
A virucide is an agent or chemical that has been proven to deactivate one or more virus strain. To grow and propagate, a virus has to ‘infect’ a host cell, and then forces the host cell to reproduce many copies of the original ‘virus’ – which in turn will infect other cells. Deactivating a virus (what a virucide does) means either killing the virus, or changing its surface structure to prevent it from ‘getting in’ and infecting other cells. Typically, many regular disinfectants and soaps as advertised are not virucides, even if they are anti-bacterial. Some common examples of ‘genuine’ virucidal agents are Ultraviolet Light, Chloroform, Bleach and Alcohol Gel.
Just because something is a virucide does not mean it will kill or deactivate every known virus. This is a common misconception, and is particularly important to note given the concerns over the most recent strain of Coronavirus. Be wary of chemicals claiming to kill Coronavirus – Coronavirus are a family of virus (including SARS and MERS), and some chemicals may try to claim effect against coronavirus, having been tested against some strains within the family. However, no chemicals have been tested and proven effective against the Novel Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19 or SARS-COV-2) strain of Coronavirus. This means that whilst some chemicals will have a very good chance of being effective against COVID-19, there is no guarantee that they will render COVID-19 virus inactive!
For the avoidance of confusion and misinformation, we have not, do not, and will not** claim any chemicals or products we sell are proven to kill coronavirus. At best, we can claim they have ‘high probability’ and (in the case of certain disinfectants, bleach and alcohol gels) are recommended by industry and health bodies .
So What Does That Mean?
To a large degree it changes nothing – other than to ensure you are using a virucidal disinfectant on surfaces where there is a risk of COVID-19 being present. In simple terms*, the higher the certification levels and more tests the product has undergone, the more likely it is to be effective against the COVID-19 virus. Below are links to some all-purpose virucidal disinfectants that we stock.
You can see further useful guidance from the World Health Organisation on hand hygiene in this guide link at: WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene