Deactivation of viruses (notably ebola virus) in feacal sludges from emergencies health centres

  • jonpar
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Deactivation of viruses (notably ebola virus) in feacal sludges from emergencies health centres

Dear all,

I have recently commenced work for Oxfam as Senior WASH Programme Development Strategist and I am new to the "Emergency" working group.

We have been discussing firstly what are the most effective treatment options to deactivate viruses and secondly what would be the most appropriate option for installation at an emergency health centre set up to isolate/treat people infected with ebola.

We have our own ideas but would be interested to hear from you what you think would be the best method.

best regards

Jonathan

Senior WASH Programme Development Strategist - Oxfam GB
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Dr. Jonathan Parkinson
Principal Consultant – Water and Sanitation
IMC Worldwide Ltd, Redhill, United Kingdom
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  • jonpar
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  • As part of the Engineering team, my role at IMC is to lead on the delivery of projects requiring specific expertise on urban sanitation (including excreta/waste/wastewater/stormwater management) focusing on technical, institutional and financial aspects in project design and implementation.
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Re: Deactivation of viruses (notably ebola virus) in feacal sludges from emergencies health centres

just to say that one possibility might be using lime.. Oxfam has already been experimenting with lime in Philippines but as you will see from the programme on Channel4 - see www.channel4.com/programmes/undercover-boss/on-demand/58259-001 it's a messy business and unless there is a safer way to mix lime with faecal sludge that has less occupational health risks, it's probably not viable. But one option would be to find a safe mixing method.. composting would probably be good due to high temperatures but again it involved mixing... or some other treatment process.. your thoughts please. Jonathan

Dr. Jonathan Parkinson
Principal Consultant – Water and Sanitation
IMC Worldwide Ltd, Redhill, United Kingdom
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  • JKMakowka
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Re: Deactivation of viruses (notably ebola virus) in feacal sludges from emergencies health centres

Lime seems like a great way of reducing pathogenic bacteria loads like in the case of cholera etc. (i.e. infectious dosis is relatively high and bacteria are often more sensitive to changes in environmental conditions).

For virus based illnesses like Ebola it seems much less suitable, not only because of the issues in handling the lime.

In addition I could imagine that in such a health centre there is also quite a lot of waste/grey-water (probably mixed with disinfectants from cleaning surfaces, equipment and protection suits) that needs to be dealt with.

The safest would be probably to come up with a liquid/solid separation device and treat the clear liquid with high strength UV light that is very efficient in deactivating viruses.
A dead end filter (with for example fine sand as the filter medium) could be used to gain relatively dry solids that could then be burned after scraping them off the top of the filter bed. Ovens for burning contaminated equipment usually already exist in many health centres and could be most likely used.

Edit: Any kind of composting (or MBR etc.) would probably not work very well due to the disinfectants and antibiotics in the waste produced from such health centres.

Microbiologist & emergency WASH specialist
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  • jonpar
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  • As part of the Engineering team, my role at IMC is to lead on the delivery of projects requiring specific expertise on urban sanitation (including excreta/waste/wastewater/stormwater management) focusing on technical, institutional and financial aspects in project design and implementation.
  • Posts: 223
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Re: Deactivation of viruses (notably ebola virus) in feacal sludges from emergencies health centres

Many thanks. I am not sure if the greywater is mixed or not (I would need to find out). Good point about the anti-biotics and disinfectants .. need to consider these for other microbiological processes too.. UV is effective but as you say the stream would have to be very clear so not so sure that would work.. maybe ovens but I doubt they will have been designed to have the capacity and I can't imagine the doctors/health workers being so keen on this. it's been brought to my attention that there is already another discussion on the topic of ebola (thanks Elisabeth for pointing that out) .. I will review the postings there with interest .. forum.susana.org/forum/categories/26-hea...uring-ebola-epidemic
best regards, Jonathan

Dr. Jonathan Parkinson
Principal Consultant – Water and Sanitation
IMC Worldwide Ltd, Redhill, United Kingdom
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Skype : jonathanparkinson1
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