Two students from Columbia University have come up with a simple and elegant solution to stop the spread of epidemic diseases in their tracks. It turns out a blue dye can save lives.
If you, your friend or a member of your family is at the hospital with a dangerous bedfellow like Ebola, do keep an eye out for the colour of clothes that your doctors are wearing. If their hazmat suits are smeared with blue dye that gently evaporates as they work with you, you can afford to rest easy.
However if they aren’t wearing this odd tint, it’s very likely that they aren’t taking enough precautions to keep their biohazard gear nice and clean. Do spread the word that they should be using Kinnos Highlight, a newly invented wonder dye by two students out of Columbia University.
In 2014, at the height of the Ebola crisis, Columbia University took up the challenge to find a solution for the crisis. Jason Kang and Katherine Jin chose to take a closer look at how the virus is transmitted by medical professionals and came up with a way to decontaminate doctors.
While the best practice followed then was to spray the biohazard suite with bleach and wait for ten minutes before moving. Not only were the doctors not waiting the full ten minutes before disrobing but also when the bleach was sprayed, they formed droplets which did not cover the entire material.
Furthermore, since bleach is kind of transparent, it’s hard to detect whether the entire clothing has sprayed with it.
The Kinnos Highlight solves these issues: it is designed to gently oxide with the air and evaporate during a set period of time and it does not have the same propensity to form water droplets such as bleach.
In fact, doctors can know by its very colour whether their gear has been properly decontaminated before disrobing.
This simple factor has helped reduce the risk of passing on the disease to others or catching it themselves.
Each bottle of Kinnos Highlight costs less than a dollar and can be mixed with a gallon of bleach.
Kinnos is now working with bodies such as the French Red Cross, and MSF to help provide a small, cheap and yet elegant solution to a problem that has dogged epidemic response teams since years.