A 5-foot-5 superbug-slaying robot is being featured at IDWeek 2014 in Philadelphia from October 8 to 12, 2014. IDWeek is a combined meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the HIV Medicine Association and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.
This futuristic-looking machine, known as TRU-D SmartUVC, emanates UVC light at a particular frequency known to kill Ebola particles.
The study, entitled, “Sensitivity to Ultraviolet Radiation of Lassa, vaccinia and Ebola viruses Dried on Surfaces,” found that Ebola virus is vulnerable to UVC light emitted from low-pressure mercury UVC bulbs. UVC light works to eliminate Ebola and other deadly pathogens, including methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Enterovirus D68, by scrambling DNA of these organisms and thereby compromising their ability to reproduce and spread.
Two of these robots were dispatched to the Republic of Liberia, to help in the fight against Ebola, as the outbreak continues to grow at an exponential rate. Medical professionals treating Ebola patients are facing high risk exposure, not only from diseased individuals, but also from contaminated surroundings. According to the CDC data, under ideal conditions, the Ebola virus can survive on surfaces and may remain active for up to 6 days. In real world conditions, live, infectious virus may persist outside of the human body for about 24 hours. A World Health Organization (WHO) official has warned that more Ebola cases can be expected among medical staff, including developed countries with modern health care systems.
Third-party studies have shown TRU-D to be more than 99 percent effective in combatting deadly pathogens, while traditional disinfection methods are only 50 percent effective. After a hospital room is cleaned using traditional methods, TRU-D is brought in and activated, to guarantee a pathogen-free environment for patients and health care staff. It is equipped with Sensor360, which automatically calculates the time needed to react to the room’s size, geometry, surface reflectivity and equipment. The virus-killing robot delivers a lethal UV-C dose in both line-of-site and shadowed spaces.
More than 300 TRU-Ds have been deployed to disinfect hospitals across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Africa in a fight against the largest recorded outbreak of the Ebola virus in history, as well as the recent outbreak of Enterovirus D68 that is killing or paralyzing children in the United States. Enterovirus D68, or EV-D68, has been confirmed in 628 people across 44 states as of October 8, 2014.