Posted May 21st, 2007, 05:48 PM
So far the only wipes I've found that will kill Norovirus are these:
Alpet D2 Ready-to-Use Disinfectant Receives EPA Efficacy Claim Against Norovirus
Alpet D2 is available in quart sprayers, 5 gallon pails, and refillable wipes
Several years ago, I was doing the technical purchasing for a group of medical laboratories and was bombarded with samples of hand and surface disinfectants. I did a very thorough study of what was available, and concluded that the product with the widest range of effectiveness was a sodium hypochlorite solution. This was also the least expensive, since it can be prepared from common household chlorine bleach. A 2% solution is most effective - simply diluting the bleach 1 part to 50 parts water. Unfortunately, the solution must be prepared at least daily and it is corrosive to stainless steel. After consulting with microbiologists, we made the transition to this solution, utilizing specially designed sprayers that did the dilution during the spray process.
I was just reading the claims of Alpet D-2 and have requested the studies that they base their claims on. I hesitate at this time to recommend it, since it is a quaternary ammonium compound, which in the past have not been effective against norovirus. The studies were on a virus in the same genus, but not specifically norovirus. It isn't really a retail item at this point - not something you can pick up at your drugstore. I wouldn't be surprised if it is the item cruise lines, among many similar businesses, use to do "Code Red" sanitation.
In the meantime, the CDC recommendations of washing hands remains the best method of reducing the spread of norovirus. The hand sanitizers that are widely available on ships (they are EVERYWHERE on HAL) are ethyl alcohol based, and while they do not kill norovirus, they do kill a wide variety of other pathogens, which can also cause "food poisoning". Lysol or other similar disinfectants can kill a wide variety of pathogens, just not norovirus.