The Centers for Disease Control and a host of other medical organizations worldwide have lately been publicizing a number of measures people can take to reduce their chances of infection from SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Wash your hands frequently, shun handshakes, and stop touching your face, they all agree. And, they say, clean all "high-touch" surfaces daily.
Well, now we also know which products we ought to be cleaning those surfaces with. The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday released a long list of disinfectant products that are known to be effective virus killers.
"Using the correct disinfectant is an important part of preventing and reducing the spread of illnesses along with other critical aspects such as hand washing," the EPA said in its announcement.
The six-page long list includes 13 products made by Clorox (NYSE:CLX), including Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and the company's Multi-Surface Cleaner + Bleach. Seven products made by Ecolab also appear in the lineup, among them Oxycide Daily Disinfectant Cleaner and Virasept.
The EPA said that all the listed products are effective in the fight against harder-to-kill viruses than the coronavirus now spreading around the world. According to the Agency, coronaviruses fall into a category known as enveloped viruses -- one of the easiest virus forms to kill with a sufficiently strong disinfectant.
Whichever products from the list you use, the EPA recommends that people closely follow their instructions for use, particularly in regards to how long the cleaner should be left on a treated surface before removal in order to ensure effective disinfection.
Meanwhile, a number of pharmaceutical companies and biotechs continue to work toward finding vaccines and treatments. Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), for one, is hoping to repurpose one of its previously developed antiviral drugs for this outbreak. Getting the necessary data to show whether it's effective against SARS-CoV-2 has been a struggle, though -- according to media reports, Gilead has had difficulty finding enough test subjects for clinical trials in China.
On Thursday, when the S&P 500 slid by 2.9%, Clorox stock rose by nearly 2%, shares of Ecolab slumped by almost 3%, and Gilead stock closed the day essentially flat.