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Ecolab Inc. (ECL - Analyst Report) has recently introduced OxyCide Daily Disinfectant Cleaner, a non-bleach sporicide, designed to kill deadly pathogens in healthcare environments. It is being showcased at the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) EXCHANGE 2013 meeting in Indianapolis.

The company claims that OxyCide is effective in killing a wide range of harmful bacteria and viruses, as compared to other disinfectants commonly used in medical setups where infections are rampant.

Oxycide can effectively kill fatal sources of infection like the Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) spores in three minutes and multi-drug resistant organisms and viruses in five minutes or even less. Ecolab believes that the usage of such an effective cleaner will help in reducing the risks of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in hospitals.

The spread of infections, particularly of the C. difficile is a common problem faced in hospitals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that approximately 1.7 million patients get infected by HAIs in U.S. hospitals annually, of which 14,000 alone die of C. difficile infections. Countering the spread of these bacteria is difficult as its spores are resistant to standard disinfectants and can survive on hard surfaces for months.

OxyCide has the potential to kill 33 different types of bacteria and viruses in limited time frames. Armed with this new offering from Ecolab, hospitals will no longer require to use multiple solutions for cleaning on different surfaces areas like operating rooms, patient rooms and other common areas.

A recent study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine observed that for controlling C. difficile infections, the healthcare industry incurs an annual expenditure of $1.5 billion, which is estimated to be  $11,285 per case. Hygiene maintenance with Oxycide will now be an easier job for hospitals seeking to achieve greater efficiency at lower costs.

A study presented by the IDWeek 2012, also showed that regular usage of OxyCide, on hospital surfaces led to a significant 36.5% reduction of potential bacteria infections. OxyCide is easy to use as it does not leave any visible residue and, unlike bleach does not require rinsing. Moreover, it is non-corrosive on most hard surfaces, including high-touch objects such as over-bed tables, bedrails, door handles and bathroom surfaces.

OxyCide is also convenient to use due to the availability of a lockable product cabinet and closed-loop dispensing system. Such features also make it safer to apply, as there is no need for manual pouring and mixing. The risks of spillage can thus be eliminated.
Survey results from the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) disclosed that 70% of infection preventionist experts have implemented several ways and means to combat the infection of C. difficile since Mar 2010, but only 42% have experienced a decrease in infection rates.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services take the C. difficile infection data from hospitals to facilitate plans for a possible reduction in the reimbursements of infections caused by the same.

 Currently, ECL carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks that are worth a look in the same industry include Ferro Corp. (FOE - Snapshot Report), Minerals Technologies Inc. (MTX - Snapshot Report) and Sensient Technologies Corp. (SXT - Snapshot Report), each of which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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