Steam Treating Norovirus

Confined spaces as found on cruise liners are a breeding ground for illnesses such as Norovirus, or other hardy microorganisms. There are some acceptable ways to control Norovirus, including chemical disinfection and using high-temperature steam. The CDC recommends exposing the Norovirus to 5 minutes of 158°F steam or 1 minute of 212°F steam2 to eliminate the virus.  As a general rule higher temperature equals better efficacy and lower treatment time.  The MightySTeam units now allow good high-temperature exposure.

How the Norovirus Spreads

Noroviruses are highly contagious, capable of causing an infection with as few as 10-100 virus particles. Most Noroviruses are transmitted through food or water contaminated with fecal matter or via droplets of vomit. Indirect transmission is possible when one’s hands encounter the virus from a contaminated surface and transmit the virus to the mouth.

Preventing Noroviruses

Good hygiene practices are the best defense against Norovirus. Frequent hand washing in hot water is the best recommendation for individuals. Chlorine bleach is an active cleaning agent if it has 10-20 minutes of contact with the surface. Proprietary cleaning agents vary in efficacy and costs and should be evaluated based on application need.

Steam Against Noroviruses

Steam has been recognized by the CDC as a viable treatment to kill Norovirus. With steam, 5 minutes at 158°F or 1 minute at 212°F is needed to inactivate Norovirus. As the temperature increases, it is likely that that residency time required may decrease and the efficacy may increase. However, there is no guarantee that this will happen unless determined by the responsible government agencies.  Bayzi steam is provided at about 400C for standard units.

1https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/surv/gilist.htm
2www.osha.gov/Publications/norovirus-factsheet.pdf

3 Request internal Bayzi documents. Call 513-772-0404.