Medical experts believe that following a basic hygiene practice is the only way to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Initiated from Wuhan, China this virus has spread to dozens of countries infecting more than 1,000,00 people and 3400 deaths. CDC has shared the guidelines to control the spread of coronavirus that include washing hands properly, covering mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing, avoiding public interaction and contact with an infected patient or surface. However, these guidelines need a little more specification.
It is necessary to know that coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads through droplets that travel in the air. The droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze can travel to a maximum of six feet on the nearest surface and may live up to many days. The World Health Organization shares that it is possible to get coronavirus infection even by touching these infected surfaces where these respiratory droplets settle.
Paul Biddinger is the director of the Emergency Preparedness Research, Evaluation, and Practice Program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He says that coronavirus infection is transmitted when a person sneezes or coughs near a person. This is the simplest explanation of how coronavirus spreads.
He emphasizes practicing good hand hygiene. if a person has an urge to sneeze or cough, instead of covering the face with hands, it is better to sneeze or rough on your elbow.
Although the basic hygiene practices seem easy and obvious it is necessary to know that they are effective and important. Washing hands with any germicidal soap for at least 20 seconds reduces the chances of catching any virus from surfaces. Biddinger states that most people are careless about their hand hygiene.
It may sound silly that a person is watching a YouTube Video on how to wash hands properly during the coronavirus pandemic. However, knowing how to wash your hands can save you from the virus, he adds.
The hand sanitizers are only helpful if they contain 60% or more content of alcohol, confirms the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, note that hand sanitizer doesn’t work if a person’s hands are dirty and he needs to wash them anyway.
The importance of washing hands for preventing a disease’s spread is proven by research, for example, a study from 2006 reveals a 16% decrease in respiratory illness by frequently washing hands. Another study from 2008 showed that it contributes to a 21% reduced risk of disease.
The guideline also includes, not to touch the face, eyes, and nose after touching any surface or after contact with a person. It is necessary to know that avoiding face touching helps in controlling the spread as a respiratory virus is much likely to spread through the eyes, nose, and mouth maybe.