The best prevention against Coronavirus is washing your hands. How long should you wash your hands for?

Why pay extortionate amounts for hand gel when washing your hands with soap and water often is key to curbing the spread of Coronavirus.

Hand washing
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to combat Coronavirus

More than 100,000 cases of novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) infection have been reported globally, most of them in mainland China and the fatality toll is heading towards 3,500.

As yet there isn’t a vaccine, antibiotics don’t work on viruses and face masks are futile unless you are already ill. The point of the mask is to keep someone who is infected with the virus from spreading it to others.

Yet we can all help to combat the spread of the virus using a free and straightforward technique: proper hand hygiene. Washing your hands thoroughly and regularly with just soap and water will help stop the transmission of this fast-spreading bug.

How long is long enough to get your hands clean enough

Just sing Happy Birthday twice says The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). That should take around 20 seconds and long enough to get your hands clean.

Add in good hand washing technique. Focus on the back of the hands, in between fingers and under your nails to have a better chance of ridding yourself of the harmful bacteria.

RPS President Ash Soni said

“Even when we remain unaffected by the bugs we carry, if we don’t wash our hands we can transmit infections which then become a real problem for those who are more vulnerable.”

Just to be sure you get it right here are two guides to hand washing:

When you should wash your hands?

Wash your hands often, before you eat, after you use the bathroom and cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze and wash your hands again. And when you’re sick, stay home from work or school and drink lots of fluids.

In between hand washes, avoid touching your eyes nose and mouth.

REMEMBER:

  • Masks are great for use by those who are already infected with the virus to stop them from spreading to others. 
  • Hand gel is effective on 99 per cent of viruses provided it contains 70 per cent alcohol. 
  • Hand hygiene is key. Wash your hands with soap and water as often as possible.