Germ-killing robot made in Texas kills Ebola in minutes

SAN ANTONIO, TX (KTRK) -- A futuristic Texas innovation is now getting world-wide attention as a defense against deadly diseases, including Ebola.

The Ebola outbreak has Americans hyper-focused on hospital safety, wondering if their area hospitals are sterile or if they're at risk of getting sicker while there.

Now, a Texas company is in the spotlight for its innovation said to be an Ebola eradicator that can also kill more than 20 dangerous pathogens in mere minutes.

It looks like many in-home appliances that you plug in to clean your home. Only the 2.5 foot robot emits ultraviolet light rays. The sci-fi looking super sanitizer zaps hospital rooms so well that viruses and bacteria are dead in just
10 minutes.

"It gets that fine cleaning that maybe we missed because we don't get every piece of dust," said MD Anderson building attendant Michelle Robinson.

Robinson and other attendants have been using the germ zapping robots for four years, and MD Anderson was the first hospital to do so.

Xenex, the San Antonia company that makes the robots, is now being flooded with calls.

"Every hospital in the country right now is looking at their infection control. Every administration is looking at what resources do they need to be ready for Ebola or any other pathogen," said Xenex chief scientific officer Mark Stibich.

Xenex robots use UV light that is 25,000 times more intense than sunlight, all while being environmentally friendly. Whatever the light hits is disinfected, including areas the human hand cannot reach. It can even be used on workers disrobing from contaminated HazMat suits.

"When they take that gear off, there's a lot of risk of transmission so we have a protocol where they can basically stand in front of the device, we have some reflectors we can use to make that quicker, and we're able to disinfect the health care worker before they exit," Stibich said.

While the system operates to clean rooms, people have to leave the area and a safety sensor turns the UV lights off if someone walks in unexpectedly.

Around the country 250 hospitals are using the robots and they have been given clever nicknames like R2CLEAN2.

MD Anderson Cancer Center has four of them. Their director of infection control says housekeeping comes in first, then the robot.

"I think it's working, absolutely," said MD Anderson Cancer Center's Dr. Chemaly Roy. "It's the whole bundle that we put in place, and it's helping us with these kinds of infections. We love this technology."

For more information on Xenex and the germ-killing robot, visit xenex.com.
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