Derraik JGB, Anderson WA, Connelly EA, Anderson YC
Int J Environ Res Public Health 17 (17) - [2020-08-22; online 2020-08-22]
In the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, hospitals are often stretched beyond capacity. There are widespread reports of dwindling supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly N95-type filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), which are paramount to protect frontline medical/nursing staff, and to minimize further spread of the virus. We carried out a rapid review to summarize the existing literature on the viability of SARS-CoV-2, the efficacy of key potential disinfection procedures against the virus (specifically ultraviolet light and heat), and the impact of these procedures on FFR performance, material integrity, and/or fit. In light of the recent discovery of SARS-CoV-2 and limited associated research, our review also focused on the closely related SARS-CoV-1. We propose a possible whole-of-PPE disinfection solution for potential reuse that could be rapidly instituted in many health care settings, without significant investments in equipment.