Developing textiles that reduce the spread of viruses

Published: 5-Feb-2014

Scientists from the Hohenstein Institute in Germany have, for the first time, developed a textile finish with both an antiviral and an antibacterial function

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As part of an AiF research project (AiF no. N 17407), scientists from the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim, Germany, have for the first time developed a textile finish with both an antiviral and an antibacterial function. The technology can be used for products in hospitals and elsewhere to interrupt chains of infection.

Most infection-induced respiratory problems are caused by viruses. For example, the respiratory syncytial virus, a pathogen belonging to the family of paramyxoviruses, can cause infections of the upper respiratory tract in the form of colds, coughs, acute bronchitis or even pneumonia, particularly in small children. At the start of winter, the rate of infections in child day care centres and nurseries regularly increases. Diarrhoea caused by noroviruses and rotaviruses as well as bacterial infections of the respiratory tract and the alimentary tract, on the other hand, are ‘in season’ all year round.

To avoid droplet and smear infections as far as possible, hygienic hands, textiles and surfaces are of paramount importance. The essential factor in avoiding or limiting the spread of disease in healthcare facilities is regular, thorough hand-washing by both visitors and carers.

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