According to Best Glove Manufacturing, concern over Avian Influenza has risen with international attention from the news media and the scientific community.
Bird Flu is caused by the H5N1 virus.
At the present time, this virus primarily affects birds, although, humans have been infected and have died from it. Mutation of the virus into a form that can infect humans has caused major concern for nearly eight years.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends the use of Personal Protective Equipment by everyone providing patient care including family members which includes:
- Masks (N-95)
- Gloves and aprons
- Hair covers
- Protective goggles
- Boots or shoe covers
The proper PPE must be worn and must be disposed of properly to avoid any contact with contamination. You should wash your hands as soon as gloves are removed and use a 70% alcohol rub on hands after washing with soap and water.
Many studies have shown that disposable nitrile gloves hold up much better “in-use” than vinyl gloves which may fracture and allow viruses to penetrate them.
Nitrile has also been shown to be slightly superior to Natural Rubber Latex gloves in similar studies. These studies were carried out in clinical settings, but the same information would apply anywhere there is potential for exposure to pathogens.
All nitrile N-DEX medical grade gloves have recently been certified to NFPA 1999 Standard for Emergency Medical Services.
NFPA 1999 Certified gloves for Emergency Medical Operations are needed for working in areas that could potentially be contaminated by Avian Influenza.
A major portion of this NFPA standard requires that gloves must pass ASTM F1671 “Standard Test Method for Resistance of Materials Used in Protective Clothing to Penetration by Blood-Borne Pathogens Using Phi-X 174 Bacteriophage Penetration as a Test System.”
The Bacteriophage Phi-X 174 is a model virus that is used not only because it is nonpathogenic, but it is small in size. It is a small known virus (0.027 micrometers in size).
Avian Influenza is also a virus which is 0.08 micrometers or about 3 times larger in size than the Bacteriophage Phi-X 174. When used properly, gloves provide perfect protection, but, gloves should not be relied on, solely.