We were asked to post the following open letter. Perhaps it should have also been written to elected officials?
April 27, 2009
To: Board of Directors
Infectious Disease Society of America
RE: Swine Flu/Hand Sanitizer Clarification
Anne Gershon, MD, FIDSA, President
Columbia University College of Physicians
New York, New York
Richard J. Whitley, MD, FIDSA, President-Elect
University of Alabama at Birmingham
James M. Hughes, MD, FIDSA, Vice President
Dear Board Members:
We've been contacted by several government agencies seeking to procure our alcohol-free formula--as those specific agencies (including The US General Services Administration and US Dept of Transportation) have specifically acknowledged their own internal analysis that has found non-alcohol based formulas (those containing benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient)are not only equally if not more effective against the broad spectrum of pathogens when compared to alcohol products, but the BAC-based products provide greater persistency, are non-irritating to the skin, are non-flammable and non-toxic.
Several agencies seeking 'emergency fulfillment' of orders today have advised informally that CDC is actually providing misinformation on this topic, as their recommendations are limited to 'alcohol-based gels'...and taken from a manual initially written in 1996. And,that many federal agencies are prohibiting alcohol-based gels in favor of alcohol-free alternatives in connection with safety concerns.
In the midst of this 'crisis', it could prove critical if ISDA were able to issue their own position on the topic and provide their opinion for public information purposes.