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Disinfecting hands vital to preventing coronavirus, but don't overdo it: expert

(People's Daily Online)    11:15, March 18, 2020

It is important to wash our hands frequently so as to prevent contamination and the spread of coronavirus, but don't overdo it, warned Zhang Liubo, a researcher at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.


The novel coronavirus can be transmitted through human contact, and the articles around us can become "carriers" of the virus.

Zhang Liubo said that the key is to keep our hands clean, and use disinfectant rationally. The hands and other exposed parts of the human body are the most important parts to disinfect; there is no need to carry out disinfection from head to toe.

Furthermore, disinfectants such as 75 percent alcohol, iodine volt and hydrogen peroxide that can be bought from the market should be used.

The skin mucous membrane (including the eyes) can be repeatedly washed with flowing water, but cannot be disinfected. Meanwhile, as the hair is a "nonabsorbent material", viruses in droplets will not survive very long there, so there is no need to worry too much about viruses being brought into the bedroom through the hair.

It is not necessary to disinfect one's own coat every day, according to Zhang. However, if you go to the hospital and come into contact with patients suspected of being infected with the virus, the coat may be contaminated.

In this case, the coat should be soaked for at least half an hour in water with a temperature of more than 56 degrees, or in water with an appropriate amount of 84 disinfectant for 15 minutes.

Disposable masks cannot be disinfected and used repeatedly, as they are not resistant to high temperatures and cannot be disinfected or immersed in hot water. Repeated attempts at disinfection could destroy the filter layer inside the masks.

Once the filter layer is destroyed, the mask no longer has a filtering effect. After each use, the mask should be removed and placed in a dry and airy environment.

Small articles or electronic products that our hands often come into contact with should be disinfected with medical alcohol of minor irritation. It is recommended to wipe the surface of these articles with alcohol cotton pieces, or cotton balls dipped into a small amount of alcohol, before leaving them to dry in natural air. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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