By Apollo 24/7, Published on - 28 May 2020
The world is fighting an outbreak of Coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, that was first detected in Wuhan city, China in 2019. This Coronavirus can spread rapidly through droplets discharged by an infected person while either coughing or sneezing. Coronavirus can also spread when a healthy person touches certain surfaces, thereby infecting these surfaces. Hence, hand hygiene is an integral part of our response to fight COVID-19. Frequent washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is crucial for reducing the spread of Coronavirus.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available. This sanitizer must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and contain at least 60 percent alcohol (also referred to as ethanol or ethyl alcohol). Additionally, the CDC also recommends the use of either plain soap or an antibacterial soap as effective solution for removing germs.
The CDC suggests that we should feel “Germs are everywhere”. They can get onto our hands when we touch any object, thereby causing infection. Hence, cleaning hands with either soap and water or hand sanitizer may help in avoiding both getting infected as well as spreading the infection to others. There are differences between soap and water and hand sanitizer in the way they function to prevent Coronavirus. While both serve the same purpose, the CDC recommends the use of a hand sanitizer only when soap and water are not available.
A Government approved alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol should be used to disinfect hands. Young children should be supervised while using a hand sanitizer to prevent any accidental swallowing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a formulation of hand sanitizer for local production by pharmaceutical companies. Many organizations have adapted this formulation and given out recipes for making hand sanitizers at home. Due to the potential shortage of hand sanitizers in stores, some people may try to make it at home using these recipes. However, just because these recipes exist, it does not mean that one should use them for making hand sanitizer at home.
The formulation for hand sanitizer as recommended by WHO has been given below:
The following are the few reasons why one should not make sanitizer at home:
Hand sanitizer is a handy way to prevent the spread of Coronavirus when soap and water are not available. Alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60 % alcohol are to be used. It is not advisable to make hand sanitizer at home due to the non-availability of appropriate tools, clean sterile environment, and exposure to chemicals, which can cause skin irritations or burns.
If you have any questions related to Coronavirus, you can consult our team of expert doctors through online doctor consultation.
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Wearing masks can restrict the spread of the Coronavirus but only if used the right way and when combined with other practices like social distancing and hand hygiene.
Studies conducted by researchers at the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Georgia State University have revealed that a new antiviral medicine known as Molnupiravir can halt the transmission of the virus causing COVID-19.
Since there is no definitive treatment for COVID-19 yet, diabetic people may improve their fighting chance against Coronavirus by boosting their immunity. Certain foods like Jamun, green tea, garlic, and amla can help.
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