Covid-19 spreads through infected droplets and mucus. Hands are the biggest source of these infected droplets. Therefore, CDC recommends people to take utmost care of their hand hygiene. People are advised to wash their hands regularly with soap and water so that the virus is removed from the biggest source by which it enters the body.
Hand washing must be thorough and effective to ensure no traces of virus are left behind. A quick scrub would not be sufficient. Wet your hands and apply plentiful soap to create good amount of lather. Scrub all the parts of hands including front, back, fingers and skin between them and beneath nails for at least twenty seconds in order to eliminate all the traces of virus. Rinse your hands meticulously and dry them with a clean towel. Wash your towels regularly so that they do not become source of infection.
In order to be safe from Covid-19 make sure you wash your hands regularly. However there are certain situations in which hand wash is a must. After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose you must wash our hands so that you do not spread the germs. When you return home from visiting a public place wash your hands thoroughly. Likewise touching objects that have crossed a number of people’s hands such as money or elevator buttons can also be potential source of germs. Hence wash your hands every time they come in contact with such surfaces. Make sure you wash your hands before and after eating food so that you do not potentially contaminate the food that goes into your body with your hands. Other than this, activities like tending to sick ones at home, touching pets, changing diaper or helping children with toilet also require washing hands thoroughly.
CDC recommends that if soap and water are not readily available you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to effectively reduce the amount of microbes that might be thriving on your hands. Sanitizers are useful in settings such as hospitals or offices where hands do not get too dirty or greasy but there are chances that your hands get covered with germs. Activities such as gardening, playing sports or eating food make your hands visibly soiled and greasy. In such circumstances hand sanitizer may not be very effective to clean hands. Hand wash is highly recommended after such activities that make your hands dirty.
There are certain things that you must keep a check of when using hand sanitizer. Firstly, the sanitizer must have 60-70% of alcohol in it otherwise it might not serve its intended purpose. It must contain FDA recommended ingredients such as emollients that ensure skin safety. WHO and CDC both have recommended levels of concentration of different ingredients that make up hand sanitizer. Therefore, check the composition of ingredients that they comply with the regulatory authorities. If you witness skin rash or reaction after using a particular brand of sanitizer immediately launch a report with FDA so that it carries out necessary investigations. Children below six years of age must be supervised by adults when using hand sanitizer as drinking hand sanitizer can cause poisoning. It is best to keep such products out of reach of children.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, essential supplies such as masks and sanitizers have seen unexpectedly huge rise in demand. People have been fighting each other even for toilet tissue rolls indicating how seriously demand has risen during the pandemic for such essentials. In order to tackle the situations FDA issued guidance documents for pharmacies and other companies to manufacture sanitizers to effectively meet the demand. The documents outline the situations under which FDA would not take any action against them as they make alcohol-based hand hygiene during this state of public health emergency.