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Coronavirus – Where It Breeds Best

Coronavirus – Where It Breeds Best

We are certainly not short of public information about hand washing, social distancing, self-isolation and the plethora of other measures which are important in the effort to prevent the spread. Let’s look at some of the environments this virus loves, and how to avoid putting yourself in danger


Soap or Hand Sanitizer? Good-ole soap wins this one. Anti-bacterial soap and hand sanitizer, whilst helpful, is not actually as effective as plain soap. Why? In the same way that antibiotics only treat bacterial infections rather than viral infections, anti-bacterial soap has no added benefit over ordinary soap because a virus in not a harmful bacteria


Bar of Soap or Liquid Soap? It’s a myth that a bar of soap will harbour a virus so there is no benefit using liquid soap out of a container over a bar of soap


Soap causes a virus to “fall apart”: The weak link in a virus is the lipid fatty layer and soap dissolves this fatty membrane, causing the virus to disintegrate and become harmless. 


What about Alcohol? As a hand cleanser (and most hand sanitizers are alcohol-based), alcohol is not as effective as soap for destroying viruses, but still is effective and a more practical solution for cleaning hard surfaces 



Proper Hand-Washing - Here it is:

  • Run warm water

  • Apply a mild soap

  • Rub your hands and wrists until you have a good lather for at least 20 seconds

  • Apply soap to all areas including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and around and below your fingernails. Keep your fingernails short

  • Rinse thoroughly under warm water

  • Dry your hands with a clean towel or let them air dry

  • If using a public toilet use a paper towel to open the door or all of your efforts could be in vain! 


Hand Dryers or Paper Towels? You may be surprised to hear that paper towels are best. Warm air hand dryers can actually increase the amount of bacteria on the hands and circulate a virus in the surrounding area, infecting others in the vicinity by making it airborne



Facemasks: Do They Work With COVID-19? If you are wearing them to help prevent catching the virus then the answer is no. Why? It would seem logical that if you cover your nose and mouth with a mask or even a scarf, it would partially filter out viruses. But flu virus particles are too small for a face mask to offer protection

  • Surgical masks are not designed to protect against airborne pathogens

  • Surgical masks do not offer respiratory protection

  • They don’t form a proper seal around your face

  • People wearing them are more inclined to touch their face regularly increasing the risk of infection


So when should you wear one? If you are infected with flu, they help prevent the spread of the virus if you sneeze or cough. You are recommended to wear one if caring for infected patients. So the best advice is to leave them for healthcare staff



Aircraft and Airports: Thankfully air travel is coming to a halt but there are still people being re-patriated and they pose a serious danger to those around them when they get home, so self-isolating is absolutely essential.

  • Air travel deposits the virus around the globe

  • An aircraft cabin is the perfect breeding ground with a large number of people in a confined area for lengthy periods of time, with limited opportunity for proper hygiene

  • Statistics have proven that regular hand-washing whilst travelling through airports and in aircraft can significantly decrease the spread of a virus

  • Airports and aircraft have so many surfaces that make us vulnerable including trolley handles, touch-screen check-in systems, seat armrests and door handles to name a few


How Often do you Touch your Face? It’s a habit we do subconsciously and for the average person it is 20 – 30 times per hour! The areas to avoid touching the most are the nose, mouth and eyes. Once again, the message here is to keep washing those hands!


Cell Phones: Most definitely one item we tend to forget about! We all handle our phones regularly and no matter how often you wash your hands, if your phone is dirty it will contaminate your hands again. 


The strength of your immune system has never been so important as right now. If you havn’t read the Immune System advice I wrote about recently then you can find it here

Stay Healthy!



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