Coronaviruses belong to the Coronaviridae family and the Coronavirinae subfamily. They are divided into four types: alpha coronaviruses, beta coronaviruses, gamma coronaviruses, and delta coronaviruses Hand Washing or Disinfection: Who Expert Advice. Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is a type of beta-coronavirus. It can infect mammals, is a zoonotic pathogen and causes severe respiratory infections in humans.

Handwashing not only reduces the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) but also prevents the spread of other viral diseases, such as colds and flu. Proper handwashing also reduces the risk of contracting other easily spreading infections. For this reason, WHO strongly recommends that you observe the following guidelines for hand hygiene:

  • place both hands under clean running water;
  • apply a sufficient amount of soap in the palm of your hand, the outside of your hands and fingers;
  • Wash your hands thoroughly for 30 seconds, paying particular attention to the areas of your fingertips, between fingers and wrists. Also, thoroughly rinse under the nails;
  • place both hands again under running water and gently wash off the soap;
  • Dry your hands completely using disposable paper towels. 

Proper hand washing will help to avoid infection not only with coronavirus, but also with staphylococcus, salmonella, dysentery, rotaviruses, helminthic invasion, etc. 

When to wash your hands

Hand washing by itself during the day is important, but most important during outbreaks of viral diseases. Always wash your hands in the following situations:

  • Upon returning home from a public walk;
  • Before leaving the bathroom, both at home and in public places;
  • After a handshake during the flu season and viral outbreaks;
  • During cooking and after taking them;
  • Before and after caring for a patient with signs of viral and bacterial infections;
  • After talking with animals, even pets;
  • After using public computers, touching cash and coins, other people’s phones, etc.

Coronavirus Hand Sanitizers

WHO recalls that alcohol-based disinfectant solutions are the only currently known means for quickly and effectively inactivating a wide range of potentially harmful microorganisms on the hands?

Why use alcohol hand sanitizers?

They have a wide range of bactericidal activity with a minimal risk of antimicrobial resistance. They can be used when we have limited access to washing our hands, for example, while traveling or working.

Disinfectants known as biocides are available in various forms, such as gels, lotions, foams, sprays and wet wipes. This allows you to choose the most convenient way to clean both hands and various surfaces. 

How to use antiseptics and which ones to choose?

When buying a hand sanitizer, make sure that the antiseptic contains 60 to 95% alcohol. Next, you need to carefully read the instructions on the back of the product and follow the correct hand treatment technique. Underestimate the recommendations for the use of antiseptics, as practice shows, most do not know how to use this tool and what it should be.

So, choosing the right disinfectant, a solution or gel should be applied to the palm of one hand (usually a few milliliters are enough). Next, you should carefully distribute the antiseptic, especially between the fingers and allow the product to dry for 20 seconds. It is very important not to remove the remnants of the antiseptic from the hands, but to allow it to soak. 

Important tips from WHO experts

Wash your hands as often as possible. Washing hands with soap and water for 20-40 seconds is the best prevention of coronavirus. Hand Washing or Disinfection: Who Expert Advice.

Wipe objects and surfaces. Most coronaviruses do not survive exposure to detergents.

WHO experts recommend a systematic disinfection of alcohol-containing solutions of tables, kitchen items, mobile phones, keyboards, remote controls and door handles. 

Give up gentle greetings. WHO recommends that when the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spreads, greetings such as a handshake, a hug and a kiss on the cheek stop.

Do not touch your face. Avoid touching your face as much as possible, especially your eyes and mouth. 

WHO also does not recommend wearing face masks to healthy people.

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