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Queen's technology considered for Ebola fight

AsepticSure was tested last week to see if it could slow the spread of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

  • [Field hospital tents]
    Two tents were set up at Innovation Park to mimic a field hospital.
  • [Medizone AsepticSure machine]
    AsepticSure, a technology created by Dr. Dick Zoutman from Queen's, is currently used to sterilize hospital rooms between patients to help prevent hospital-born infections.
  • [Medizone AsepticSure machine in action]
    The technology, pictured here, produces a patented gas to destroy all pathogens in a room.

AsepticSure co-inventors Dick Zoutman, a researcher at Queen’s, and Michael Shannon met last week with representatives from portable shelter company Design Shelter Inc. to test whether the technologies could be combined to fight the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.

AsepticSure combines ozone and peroxide to create a patented gas that has yet to encounter a pathogen it couldn't destroy. 

"The ozone-peroxide combination works in the same way the human body does to kill pathogens,” says Dr. Zoutman. “AsepticSure permeates all surfaces to kill 99.9999 per cent of all bacteria, spores and viruses. We’ve already seen the technology kill the coronavirus, the virus responsible for the MERS outbreak, so if it can kill the coronavirus then there’s no reason it can’t kill the Ebola virus.”

Dr. Shannon says that if the team were asked to go to West Africa and begin their efforts to destroy the virus, they could be there with the equipment to do so in a week.

The team hopes that AsepticSure will, at a minimum, provide adequate protection for all hospital staff in West Africa – the most valued commodity in fighting the Ebola outbreak.

AsepticSure is a portable hospital sterilization system that can be used by trained maintenance staff. Rooms can be sterilized to the same standard as surgical equipment withing 80-90 minutes for a room of 4,000 cubic feet. For more information on AsepticSure, visit the website.

The AsepticSure technology was developed at Medizone’s dedicated laboratories in Innovation Park at Queen’s.