SOUTHAMPTON scientists are working on a new way to stop the spread of Ebola.

University of Southampton researchers believe a special form of copper surface can kill the virus based on previous testing on other viruses.

Antimicrobial copper could be used to cover light switches, door handles, hospital equipment and handrails on public transport.

And the scientists think it could make a major difference when used alongside hand washing, disinfectants and traditional quarantine procedures.

The copper is specially engineered to be hygienic and can reduce contamination by more than 80 per cent.

Prof Bill Keevil, chair of environmental healthcare at the University of Southampton, said: “Based on our research on viruses of similar genetic structure, we expect copper surfaces to inactivate Ebola, and to help control the spread of this virus if employed for publicly-used touch surfaces.”

The research stemmed from previous studies where copper was found to contain the spread of the winter vomiting bug norovirus.

But the copper has not yet been tested on Ebola.

And the copper does not need any human intervention for it to continuously kill the virus other than normal cleaning.