UK inventor develops anti-COVID-19 disinfectant that kills 99.99% of the virus
Updated 23:58, 16-Mar-2021
Edna Mohamed

Michael Pritchard is a 53-year-old inventor from Essex in the UK, who may have made the most significant discovery of his career after designing a spray that can kill 99.99 percent of the COVID-19 virus in less than 60 seconds.

In partnership with the British Army, Pritchard, developed and manufactured the only spray in production with such a high efficacy rate and the inventor hopes it will be made available to all key workers in the UK including the emergency services and teachers.

Pritchard used his previously developed aerosol technology to create a spray that would be environmentally friendly and thanks to his military contacts was able to fast-track the design and testing of the new chemical in 12 weeks.

Having tested the formula at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to meet British and European standards, it passed and proved efficacy. Pritchard told CGTN Europe: "They confirmed that it [the formula] knocks it out of the park. It kills, according to those standards, in less than 60 seconds." 


The key to the effectiveness of the product is Pritchard's clear understanding of the properties of the COVID-19 virus, importantly that it has a fatty layer surrounding it, allowing it to cling to surfaces for up to 28 days. This is known as an "envelope virus" as the protective layer allows it to be delivered to a host without being damaged. 

Pritchard's formula uses a similar chemical reaction to the one that takes place in most households on a daily basis. "It's what we call a surfactant-based disinfectant. A surfactant is like a washing up liquid, that helps attract oils off a surface," said Pritchard.

"Because this is an envelope virus and it's a particularly fatty envelope virus, its lipid shell is fatty – that's one of the reasons why it lasts on surfaces for so long."

The disinfectant is then designed to break down that barrier and kill the structure of the virus, instead of just attacking the outer layer.  "That's one of the reasons why it can do it so quickly," Pritchard added. 

The product was developed to provide the army with enhanced protection while operating at COVID-19 testing facilities. Christopher Warhurst was assigned as the military project manager and has been amazed by its effectiveness. "What started out as a good idea has developed into an amazing product that has the potential to have a real impact against the virus," he said. 


The creator hopes the disinfectant will be available in supermarkets by summer. /Virusend

The creator hopes the disinfectant will be available in supermarkets by summer. /Virusend


Since the start of the pandemic, most members of the public have been using antibacterial gels and sprays, which Pritchard believes was a mistake, especially when "antibacterial" and "antiviral" are not interchangeable terms. "Coronavirus is a virus. It's not a bacteria. So why are we using antibacterial sprays to try to eradicate it?" he said. 

While the final formulation of Virusend is pending a patent, the spray is currently available for purchase on Amazon and at the UK's Lakeland stores. 

Pritchard hopes the product will be picked up by more supermarkets and stocked on shelves by the summer. 

Video editor: Sam Cordell

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