Masters of Health Magazine September 2018 - Page 31

You are an expert in a very special field, disinfection with UV light. Why is it so important? What is the impact of hospital acquired infections and airborne infections for our society?

Many patients come into a hospital to be treated for one medical reason and acquire another infectious disease transmitted through the air, e.g. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) or measles or by touching a surface in a patient room, e.g. Clostridium difficile (C. diff) both serious diseases that can lead to death if not treated properly. Many of these microorganisms are now becoming fully drug resistant to antibiotic treatment. For decades UVC, shortwave length UV is known to be germicidal, killing these microorganisms by disrupting their DNA or RNA. Upper room germicidal UV (GUV) is used to control the airborne transmission of TB. Much of my work now is teaching various Engineers, Architects and personnel from Departments of Health in different countries how to implement the use of GUV. We are also studying the use of UV to clean surfaces in patient rooms and bathrooms where many of these microorganisms can exist for long periods of time. So it is interesting how my early architecture background is now helping other architects and engineers.

Interview Conducted by

Dr. Octavio Perez. PhD