HYGIENE BULLETIN INTERNATIONAL HYGIENE COMMITTEE

COVID19 : It was back in November 2021 that the WHO had defined the Omicron variant as a Variant of Concern [VoC].

As of today (25 Feb 2022) we now know that this variant wasn’t only highly transmissible but at the same time much milder. This has resulted in a situation where Omicron has replaced Delta as the dominant variant.

The pressure on the Intensive Care units in the hospitals has been strongly reduced and this gives communities the opportunity to open-up and substantially reduce lockdown measures.

The laundries are still in a position that they can be sure of de-activating all variants – when they apply rubber stamped wash processes. The only downside of the increased transmissibility of the virus is that the laundry might temporarily loose part of the staff because they have to go in home isolation.

Looking into the crystal ball – Expectations:
The expectations could be that the situation around COVID19 moves to a pre-pandemic situation. And – as we reported earlier – : There will always be a seasonal COVID – that will have the characteristics of a seasonal flue. With the disclaimers: 1) the majority of the population should appreciate and understand the need for a vaccination and the second disclaimer – of course – is that no variant will emerge that has capabilities of bypassing all existing defence systems.

An additional positive Foot Note is that various pharmaceutical companies are at the verge of having powerful anti-viral products ready. Products that have to be given in the first days of infection.

Avian Flu

  • We can start with the important conclusion that at this moment of time no special precautions have to be taken by the laundry team[s].
    Or with other words: Avian flu viruses don’t normally infect human beings. With the exception of those people that work in poultry farms and poultry industry.
  • Human infections with avian flu viruses have only sporadically occurred and the people that get infected are treated with anti-viral products.
  • A pandemic influenza outbreak based on the Avian Flu viruses H5N1 and H7N9 would become possible only if a new variant emerges. This is why ECDC and CDC are monitoring the current global outbreak on a day-to-day basis.
  • A vaccine against Avian Flu has been developed – but isn’t administered because of low number of bird-to-human infections.