Le Lézard
Classified in: Health, Covid-19 virus
Subject: AVO

Congress Must Fund Environmental Virus Detection

WILMINGTON, Del., May 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --

This is a letter to congress from GreyScan:

The technology needed to detect COVID19 quickly in a public setting does not yet exist but can be quickly created by reconfiguring the commercially available GreyScan ETD-100tm.  Initially the only field detector on the market able to detect inorganic substances via capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE), GreyScan Detection's technology was created to find trace inorganic substances. The modular nature of the detector allows it to be reengineered to detect a wide variety of substances, including viruses. To GreyScan, this virus is another valid threat that can be detected, addressed, and prevented through following the traces of the substance as it spreads.

As the United States continues to battle COVID-19, Americans are imagining with trepidation what life will be like as the country reopens. States that have already announced reopening plans included social distancing and sanitation guidelines. Following completion of a deal to replenish the coffers of the small business lending program, the Senate has already returned to Washington D.C. to forge the next steps in the recovery process. The next round of COVID-19 legislation should not only increase funding for individual testing, but also fund new programs for viral trace detection technology and environmental screening. Providing a strategic detection methodology will allow the economy to carefully resume normalcy while preventing additional waves from crippling the entire nation and its economy.

The private sector has been engaged in developing new vaccines and technology to battle this invisible enemy. Just like after 9/11, many companies are developing technologies to address a new type of attack, represented by COVID-19.   Companies are developing tests, working towards a vaccine, and trying to quickly produce and distribute PPE materials.  According to a recent study from National Institutes of Health and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the virus is detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. If we hope to jump-start the economy by making citizens feel safe gathering in public, our leaders must begin exploring proactive and accurate methods for quickly identifying the virus, rather than reactive testing and isolation.

Robert Redfield, Director of the CDC, warned that a second wave of the coronavirus will be more dangerous because it is likely to coincide with the start of flu season. Trace detection will not only ensure to citizens that areas are safe but will also allow the government to identify new outbreaks at checkpoints and in common areas.

To fight this virus, we must treat it as a national security threat and attack it from every angle. It's critical the US Government capitalize on innovative solutions to find the virus and eliminate it. Funding is needed from Congress to make sure every city, school, hospital, military base, grocery store, restaurant, airport, mall, or store in America can detect the presence of the virus. The inability to detect the virus will keep Americans at home and employees on the sidelines waiting to return to work. As the pandemic temporarily plateaus, virus detection and environmental screening can lead the effort to prove cleanliness in public and private sector venues, enabling society to resume daily functions and repair the international economy.

Samantha Ollerton is recognized trace detection technology expert, a leader in the field of explosives and narcotics detection, Ms. Ollerton has worked on a myriad of key international research and development projects, developing novel detection technologies with international partners for over 20 years. Her focus has been developing new trace detection products, leading and managing several international research and development projects, using innovative methodologies and novel sampling approaches. Her work has led to the securement of patents and the successful deployment of products currently used by agencies globally. Utilizing this specialized knowledge, she has provided expertise in thousands of civil and criminal cases and is acknowledged as one of the few world leading experts in trace detection technologies. 

She has published over fifty papers and classified reports detailing research and development in the field of explosive and drug detection, and presented these findings at highly respected conferences and briefing worldwide.

Samantha is a member of several industry groups, including but not limited to, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Forensic Science, the British Mass Spectrometry Society, and the DHS Explosives Standards Working Group. She is a Chartered Chemist and Scientist, and a European Chemist.

Ms. Ollerton graduated from Warwick University Chemistry School, initially focused on tryptophan family chemical detection in environmental screening and real-time mass spectrometric detection of illicit materials, and then focusing on analytical detection technologies. Her first degree was in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, specializing in analytical chemistry.


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News published on 5 may 2020 at 09:00 and distributed by: