IRVINE (CBSLA.com) — A sanitizer created in a local laboratory could play a part in the treatment and care of patients with the Ebola virus in West Africa.
Zylast XP, already in use in hospitals and schools worldwide, has been chosen in the Fighting Ebola grand challenge put on by USAID in partnership with the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Department of Defense.
"The fact that it can be applied before they put the gloves on and their whole suit and still be providing protection when they're taking it off and removing it which is the most dangerous time for healthcare workers," Jesse Cozean, vice president of research and development at Zylast, told CBS2's Michele Gile.
As part of the award, the product will be shipped to West Africa, where it will be tested in a U.S. government lab on the Ebola virus.
The company says a small bottle of Zylast XP costs less than $4. Rather than lasting just seconds, the company's representatives say the product is effective for up to six hours.
"Your standard alcohol sanitizer does a good job of killing the germs that's on your hand immediately, but it only lasts for 15 seconds, so your hands can become recontaminated by the next surface that you touch," Cozean said.
He explained: "Zylast is different. It's persistent for six hours. So even after that, you're still touching things, it's killing the germs that are coming in contact with your hands."
Healthcare workers, as of now, account for 10 percent of casualties due to the Ebola virus.
Zylast XP was created at an Irvine laboratory and is bottled in Santa Clarita.
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