COVID19 - How to Protect Yourself & Others

Wear a mask

Everyone 2 years and older should wear masks in public.

Masks should be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart, especially around people who don’t live with you.

If someone in your household is infected, people in the household should take precautions including wearing masks to avoid spread to others.

Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on your mask.

Wear your mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.

Fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face, slipping the loops over your ears or tying the strings behind your head.

If you have to continually adjust your mask, it doesn’t fit properly, and you might need to find a different mask type or brand.

Make sure you can breathe easily.

Effective February 2, 2021, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.​

Stay 6 feet away from others

Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from other people.
Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Get Vaccinated

Authorized COVID-19 vaccines can help protect you from COVID-19.
You should get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you.
Once you are fully vaccinated, you may be able to start doing some things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces

Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters puts you at higher risk for COVID-19.
Avoid indoor spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors as much as possible.
If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.

Wash your hands often

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
It’s especially important to wash:
Before eating or preparing food
Before touching your face
After using the restroom
After leaving a public place
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After handling your mask
After changing a diaper
After caring for someone sick
After touching animals or pets
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Cover coughs and sneezes

Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
Throw used tissues in the trash.
Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Then, use a household disinfectant. Use products from EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19)external icon according to manufacturer’s labeled directions.

Monitor your health daily

Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

 

Updated March 8th 2021
https://www.cdc.gov


A new problem with hand sanitizers: Not strong enough to kill Covid-19

Two months after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered that consumers across the country were unwittingly buying and using toxic hand sanitizers to combat the coronavirus, the agency is notifying the public about a completely different problem. Now, nearly two dozen sanitizers have been flagged for not containing enough active ingredients to kill the virus that causes COVID-19. And one has been detected to contain a substance possibly more toxic than methanol: It’s 1-propanol.

With these issues in mind, the FDA’s do-not-use list has expanded this week to about 100 brands and 150 varieties, including, for the first time, a sanitizer produced in China. Also added to the list in recent days were sanitizers manufactured in Ohio, Texas, Utah and North Carolina. Most of the other problematic brands were produced in Mexico.

To be effective, sanitizers should contain high percentages of either of two forms of alcohol — at least 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropanol — that are safe on human skin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.In the last 10 days, the FDA has identified 20 sanitizers that didn’t contain enough ethanol, isopropyl or another active ingredient to be effective.

Some of those sanitizers also contained methanol, another form of alcohol that is used to make fuel and antifreeze and is dangerous when absorbed through the skin (or inhaled or ingested). In mid-June, the FDA issued public alerts because five brands involving 19 varieties of hand sanitizer either contained methanol or were produced using equipment contaminated by methanol. The FDA reported a rash of illnesses and four deaths in the United States that it believes were connected to toxic hand sanitizers. The FDA’s ongoing investigation has found methanol contamination ranging from 1 percent to 80 percent in various sanitizers.

On Wednesday, the FDA flagged four varieties of sanitizer manufactured by Harmonic Nature because it was found to contain 1-propanol. That toxin can cause allergic reactions, nervous system problems and even death if it is absorbed through the skin, ingested or comes into contact with the eyes. The FDA on Wednesday asked the company to recall the products. Symptoms of 1-propanol exposure include confusion, slowed pulse and slowed breathing.

Most of the companies producing those dangerous sanitizers never registered before with the FDA to produce over-the-counter drugs. Hand sanitizer falls into that category with the FDA.

The brands called out by the FDA include: V-Klean, CleanCare, dgreen, Clean Humans, Datsen, Bernal, Inflatables Alcohol Antiseptic, Medically Minded, Protz, OZO, UltraCruz and Healthy Food and Nutrition Lab (HF&N).

One of the new brands on the list Tuesday was Leafree Instant Hand Sanitizer, manufactured by Yangzhou Olande Cosmetic Co. in China. The product was labeled “edible alcohol,” the FDA said. No sanitizers containing ethanol or isopropyl alcohol are intended for consumption. The FDA promptly put an import alert on it to stop it from entering the United States.

Consumers are urged to scrutinize any hand sanitizer they’ve bought since March, which is when the FDA relaxed its guidelines to allow unregistered companies to produce hand sanitizer.

The FDA says consumers shouldn’t use sanitizers from any of the named companies, even if the variety or lot numbers are different. Pay close attention to products manufactured in Mexico, products with no disclosure about where they were produced and products with names you’re not familiar with or that sound odd — for example, simply, “Hand Sanitizer.”

“Manufacturers’ failure to immediately recall all potentially affected products is placing consumers in danger of methanol poisoning,” the FDA said. “Additionally, the FDA is strongly urging distributors and retailers to stop distributing and selling hand sanitizers manufactured by the firms on the list immediately, even if the particular product is not included in a recall, due to the risk of methanol poisoning.”

Consumers should continue to check for updates to the FDA’s list of dangerous products because its investigation is ongoing.

Consumers and health care professionals are encouraged to report issues with hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. People can:

Complete and submit the report online; or

Download and complete the form, then submit it via fax at 1-800-FDA-0178.

Consumers, manufacturers or distributors who have questions can email the FDA at COVID-19-Hand-Sanitizers@fda.hhs.gov.

Anyone experiencing symptoms such as headache, blurry or impaired vision, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of coordination or confusion and believes it’s connected to hand sanitizer can contact Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or your doctor.

Here’s the list of hand sanitizers the FDA has flagged as of Aug. 13 that should not be used:

Alcohol Antiseptic 62% Hand Sanitizer (Quimica Magna de Mexico)

Alcohol Antiseptic 75% Topical (Harmonic Nature)

Alcohol Antiseptic 80% topical (Botanicals Internacional)

All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (EskBiochem)

All Clear Hand Sanitizer (Botanicals Internacional)

Always Be Clean (Open Book Extracts, North Carolina)

AMX Instant Hand Sanitizer (Noticias Mexico Hoy Grupo Multimedia)

Andy’s (Limpo Quimicos)

Andy’s Best (Limpo Quimicos)

Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer (Soluciones Cosmeticas)

Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer (Real Clean Distribuciones)

Assured (4E Global)

Assured (Albek de Mexico)

Be Safe (Tropicosmeticos)

Bernal (Quimica Magna)

Bersih (Soluciones Cosmeticas)

Bio AAA Advance (AAA Cosmetica)

Blumen (4E Global SAPI de CV)

Born Basic (Real Clean Distribuciones)

Britz (Tropicosmeticos)

BV BYE Virus (Plastico Las Palmas)

Cavalry (Real Clean Distribuciones)

Clean Humans (DEPQ Internacional)

CleanCare NoGerm (Precision Analitica Integral)

CleanCare NoGerm (Eskbiochem)

Cleaner Hand (Tropicosmeticos)

Command Gel (Roque Plast)

DAESI hand sanitizer (Yara Elena De La Garza Perez Nieto)

Datsen (Quimica Magna)

Derma70 Hand Sanitizer (Asiaticon)

Dgreen (DEPQ Internaciona)

Earths Amenities (DDI Multinacional)

Enliven (Real Clean Distribuciones)

Esk Biochem (Eskbiochem)

Foamy iQ (Spartan Chemical)

GelBac (Incredible Products)

Good Gel (Eskbiochem)

Greenfrog (Notarika)

Greenfrog Sanitizing Wipes (Notarika)

Hand Sanitizer (DEPQ Internacional)

Hand Sanitizer (Grupo Insoma)

Hand Sanitizer (Grupo Plast Y Kosas)

Hand Sanitizer (Incredible Products)

Hand Sanitizer (MXL Comercial)

Hand Sanitizer (Real Clean)

Hand Sanitizer (Soluciones Cosmeticas)

Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare (DDI Multinacional)

Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel (Resource Recovery & Trading)

Handzer (Tropicosmeticos)

Hello Kitty (4E Global)

Herbacil (Broncolin)

HF&N (Healthy Food and Nutrition Lab)

Honeykeeper (4E Global)

In Good Hands (Plastico Las Palmas)

Inatek (Botanicals Internacional)

Incredible Products (Pacific Coast)

Jalisco (Grupo Plast)

Jaloma (Laboratorios Jaloma)

Just Hand Sanitizer Single-Use Packs (Open Book Extracts, North Carolina)

Klar and Danver (4E Global)

Kleanz (Tropicosmeticos)

Lavar (Eskbiochem)

Leafree (Yangzhou Olande Cosmetic)

Leiper’s (Leiper’s Fork Distillery, Tennessee)

Lite’n Foamy by Roque Plast (Spartan Chemical Co Inc., Ohio)

LumiSkin (AAA Cosmetica)

Lux Eoi (Real Clean Distribuciones)

M Hand Sanitizer (Grupo Plast)

Medical Mary Clean (Noticias Mexico Hoy Grupo)

Medically Minded (Asiaticon)

Modesa (Albek de Mexico)

Mystic Shield Protection (Mystic International)

NeoNatural (Limpo Quimicos)

NEXT (Albek de Mexico)

NuuxSan (Albek de Mexico)

O.K. Pharmacy (Grupo Plast)

Optimus (Liqesa Exportacion)

OZO (Estrategia Hospitalaria)

OZO (Ismar Soluciones Dinámicas)

Parabola (Tropicosmeticos)

Plus Advanced (Limpo Quimicos)

Protz Real Protection Antibacterial (Asiaticon)

Purity (Soluciones Cosmeticas)

QualitaMed (AAA Cosmetica)

ResQue 1st (Botanicals Internacional)

Saniderm (Eskbiochem)

Sayab (JG Atlas Comercios)

Scent Theory – Keep It Clean (Real Clean Distribuciones)

Selecto (Maquiladora Miniara)

70% Alcohol Gel Hand Sanitizer (Botanicals Internacional)

Shine and Clean Hand Sanitizer (Maquiladora Miniara)

SkinGuard24 All-Day (SG24 LLC, Georgia)

Total Pure (Botanicals Internacional)

TriCleanz (Tritanium Labs USA LLC, Illinois)

TriCleanz (Incredible Products)

UltraCruz (Santa Cruz Biotechnology, Texas)

Urbane Bath and Body (Tropicosmeticos)

V-KLEAN (Asiaticon)

Vidanos Easy Cleaning (DDI Multinacional)

Volu-Sol (Volu-Sol, Inc., Utah)

Wave (Tropicosmeticos)

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1.8 Billion People Are at Higher Risk of COVID-19 Due to No Water or Sanitation at Health Facilities

“Water, sanitation, and hygiene in health care facilities are fundamental to stopping COVID-19.”

Why Global Citizens Should Care:
Access to water and sanitation is key to ensuring good health and well-being. The United Nations urges countries to ensure that all people have equal and safe access to water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure. You can join us and take action on this issue here.

Approximately 1.8 billion health workers and patients are at higher risk of COVID-19 and other diseases due to lack of basic water and sanitation services at health facilities, according to a report published Monday by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The new report, titled “Fundamentals First: Universal Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Services in Health Care Facilities for Safe, Quality Care,” found that 1 in 4 health care facilities globally has no water services, while 1 in 3 has no proper access to hand hygiene to help prevent infections. Meanwhile, 1 in 10 health care facilities doesn’t have any sanitation services and 1 in 3 does not separate waste safely.

“Working in a health care facility without water, sanitation, and hygiene is akin to sending nurses and doctors to work without personal protective equipment,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom, director-general of the WHO, said in a news release about the report.

“Water supply, sanitation, and hygiene in health care facilities are fundamental to stopping COVID-19. But there are still major gaps to overcome, particularly in least-developed countries,” he added.

In the world’s least-developed countries, half of all health care facilities lack basic water services, 25% do not have hand hygiene at points of care, and 60% lack basic sanitation services.

While these kinds of disparities in health care facilities existed before COVID-19, the crisis has exacerbated them. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the WHO has recommended basic good hygiene as one of the most important ways to fight COVID-19, advising everyone to “regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.” Without access to water and sanitation services, health care workers and patients are without that first line of defense.

Experts are calling for action to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities after the coronavirus pandemic highlighted disparities between global health services.

“As we reimagine and shape a post-COVID world, making sure we are sending children and mothers to places of care equipped with adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene services is not merely something we can and should do,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “It is an absolute must.”

Access to hygiene and sanitation is especially important for vulnerable populations, such as pregnant mothers, newborns, and children. The WHO also found that better WASH facilities could save 1 million pregnant women and newborns’ lives and reduce stillbirths.

The WHO and UNICEF reported that it would cost roughly $1 per person to ensure that all of the least-developed countries have water services. It would take 20 cents per person to operate and maintain the services.

Investing in WASH infrastructure is fundamental to improving the quality of life and care around the world. According to the WHO and UNICEF, every $1 invested in hygiene and sanitation has a return of $1.50 as a result of health care-associated infections decreasing and health workers not having to search for handwashing facilities.

https://www.globalcitizen.org


When and How to Clean Your Phone During the COVID-19 Outbreak

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to clean commonly touched surfaces.

One type of surface that we touch frequently is our phone touch screen.
Phone touch screens can usually be cleaned using disinfecting wipes, but check with the maker of your phone first.
Frequency of cleaning will vary depending on your habits and the likelihood of exposure.

All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date. Visit our coronavirus hub and follow our live updates page for the most recent information on the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, there has been much attention placed on preventive actionsTrusted Source, such as handwashing, staying home when we are sick, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces.

Regarding the latter, however, there is one type of surface that we may be neglecting: the touch screens and carrying cases for our phones.

“Touch screens on our devices are an often overlooked source of microbes that can be brought into our personal space,” noted Dr. David Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

In fact, numerous studiesTrusted Source have found that our cellphones can be carriers of microbial life forms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

While many of these are harmless, according to Westenberg, there are also disease-causing organisms like the SARS-CoV-2 virus that can survive on surfaces long enough to be transmitted to you or another person.
Do you need to be cleaning your phone?

If you are washing your hands already, just how important is it to also clean your phone?

Westenberg said that if people wash their hands before touching their devices, that would ordinarily be enough to prevent us from transferring the virus through touch.

“However, as often as we touch our devices, washing our hands before every new contact with the device would be impractical,” he said.

In fact, according to a 2019 survey by research firm dscout, the average person touches their cellphone 2,617 times daily.

In light of this fact, Westenberg said wiping down the touch screens and cases of our phones “should be a part of our routine.”

How to clean your phone

First and foremost, you will want to consult the website for the manufacturer of your phone or carrying case for any specific instructions that they might have in order to avoid damaging your device or case.

Many manufacturers, including Apple, have provided recommendations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While specific instructions may vary depending on your device, Apple is advising the following for its products:

Use only a soft, lint-free cloth.
Avoid excessive wiping.
Unplug all power sources, devices, and cables.
Keep liquids away from your device.
Don’t allow moisture to get into any openings.
Avoid aerosol sprays, bleaches, and abrasives.
Avoid spraying cleaners directly onto your device.

Apple is recommending the use of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipes or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to wipe down any hard, nonporous surfaces.

However, they say you should avoid using them on leather or fabric to prevent damage.

According to Dr. Donald W. Schaffner, extension specialist in food science and distinguished professor at Rutgers University, these are “fairly gentle disinfectants.”

However, you should avoid using chlorine bleach, according to Schaffner. This could damage your phone.

Westenberg further suggested that keeping your phone in a sealed case will make it easier to wipe it down with disinfectant wipes.


How often should you clean your phone?

According to Schaffner, the most likely way that your device would become contaminated with high levels of the virus is for someone to sneeze or cough near it.

Microscopic droplets containing the virus could then settle on the phone, he explained.

So, if you have been near anyone who is coughing or sneezing, it would be a good idea to clean your phone.

In addition, according to Westenberg, it would be a good idea to clean your phone “on a regular basis,” although not necessarily every time you touch it.

As far as the frequency, this will vary with your habits, said Westenberg.

“If you are being diligent about washing your hands, you would need to clean the screen less often, maybe once or twice a day.

“If you are putting your phone down on a potentially contaminated surface, washing your hands infrequently, et cetera, then I would recommend more often,” he said.

Schaffner said he thinks it’s important to stress, however, that unless you are in a home with someone who has SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, it’s relatively unlikely that your phone has any virus on it.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to clean your phone more than once a day,” he said, unless it’s potentially been exposed to the virus.

https://www.healthline.com

Written by Nancy Schimelpfening
March 18, 2020 — Fact checked by Jennifer Chesak

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Key Times to Clean your Hands

You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often, especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:

• Before, during, and after preparing food
• Before and after eating food
• Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
• Before and after treating a cut or wound
• After using the toilet
• After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
• After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
• After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
• After handling pet food or pet treats
• After touching garbage

The guidance for the list of key times to wash hands was developed based on data from a number of studies. There can also be other times when it is important to wash hands.

To prevent the spread of germs during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should also wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean hands BEFORE and AFTER:

• Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
• Touching your mask
• Entering and leaving a public place
• Touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens

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COVID-19: How to sanitise vegetables, milk packets, deliveries and more

Washing vegetables with soap and water? Using hydrogen peroxide for disinfecting surfaces? While you may be protecting yourself from the Coronavirus, you may end up exposing yourself to toxic chemicals that could lead to a gastrointestinal infection. Read our medical expert’s advice, to prevent yourself from falling in the trap of unscientific ways and methods.

While every household tries out ways to keep the COVID-19 disease at bay, what about those surfaces that you invariably touch on a daily basis? Experts have warned that respiratory droplets on such surfaces, could be a major source for the spread of the Coronavirus. Housing.com News reached out to Dr Gaurav Singh, senior medical officer, Central Coalfields Ltd and ex-resident, AIIMS Bhubaneswar for some tips.

“It is important to understand that sanitising raw vegetables, milk packets and daily-touch objects was always important and not just because of the Coronavirus. Some people have started using detergent and water to clean raw vegetables. The problem with such techniques, is that it is nearly impossible to prevent contamination due to soap or detergent. Therefore, one may end up with a gastrointestinal infection, as a result of using unscientific ways,” says Singh. To prevent COVID-19 one merely has to follow some simple hygiene practices and follow it, irrespective of whether there is a pandemic or not.

Viruses are assemblies of, say, proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates and need living cells to thrive. Therefore, outside your body, the Coronavirus is as good as ‘dead’. It cannot do anything to surfaces but you can be affected, if you touch the contaminated surface. Now, with the new strain of the Coronavirus, called the VUI-202012/01 which is reportedly 70% more likely to spread, one must be careful.

Follow the simple and effective tips by Dr Singh, to keep yourself and your family safe from the Coronavirus.

How to clean vegetables/raw food?

Viruses do not grow on food but raw vegetables can be a good vehicle for it. Did you know that Hepatitis A was linked to diced tomatoes, lettuce and raspberries? An infected person can contaminate the food and pass on the virus. Seafood, if it comes in contact with faeces of an infected person can also harm you. Viruses have a higher resistance to chemical treatments than bacteria or fungi. So how should you prevent contamination?

Wash raw vegetables in hot water or hot water with salt.
You could also try washing the vegetables multiple times with potable water.
Hydrogen peroxide/potassium permanganate is used by many households but it is far more effective on bacteria than on viruses.
If you are using soap and water to clean the raw vegetables, make sure that the remnants of the soap on the surface is also cleaned well. It is difficult to wash off such stains and soap particles. Soap stains are often visible on plates, even after you wash them. The same stands true for vegetables. In fact, it is more difficult to remove soap from the surface of vegetables.
It is best to avoid eating raw food/salads now. Cooked food minimises the risk of infection. Make sure food is properly cooked. If you use raw vegetables in salads, clean these with extra care.
You may want to wear gloves, when you are handling/buying vegetables and fruits. Make sure you wash these gloves once you are home.
Do not place vegetables brought from outside, straight on the kitchen counter.
If there are vegetables that cannot be washed as soon as you bring it in, try to keep it in a closed space and do not cook or consume within three to four hours.
Most households use domestic help and cooks, who help us on a day-to-day basis. To be fully satisfied about cleanliness, do the cleaning yourself or train your domestic help to do so.


Food safety measures to consider

According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), you must follow the guidelines mentioned below:

Keep away food packets bought from outside. Avoid keeping it directly in the refrigerator.
Potable water is enough to clean fruits and vegetables. You may use 50 ppm drop of chlorine, if available.
Avoid soaps, disinfectants or cleaning products and wipes on fruits and vegetables.
Washed food should not be kept just about anywhere in your house. Keep it in a dedicated space, so that it does not get contaminated by staying on some other daily-touch surface.
Packets can be cleaned with soap or an alcohol-based solution.
Disinfect the sink after cleaning the food products.


How to sanitise milk packets?

Hot water and soap is the best way to clean these packets. Avoid placing unwashed packets in the refrigerator or pouring the milk into a vessel, without washing the packet first.

Published: https://housing.com

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10 things you need at home in case you or a family member gets COVID-19

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Despite taking the necessary precautions—social distancing, washing hands, wearing a mask in public—there’s still a risk that you or a family member could contract COVID-19. With coronavirus cases on the rise across the country and holiday travel coming up, it’s more important than ever to be prepared if someone you live with gets sick.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that most people who contract COVID-19 will only have a mild case and can probably recover at home, there are necessary precautions to take to prevent the spread of the virus in your household. This includes having a designated sick room and bathroom as well as a designated person to care for those who are sick. It’s also necessary to disinfect surfaces regularly and for everyone to wash their hands frequently.

The CDC also recommends keeping those with an increased risk for severe illness separate, and if someone’s coronavirus symptoms worsen or they have trouble breathing to get them medical attention immediately.

Hopefully, no one in your household contracts the coronavirus, but it’s always best to prepare for the worst. Here are all the things you should have on hand if you or a family member gets COVID-19, as recommended by the CDC.

1. Hand soap

Washing your hands is one of the best ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus, according to the CDC, and should be done frequently. That means lathering up every time before eating or preparing food, after using the restroom, after leaving a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, after handling your mask, and after caring for someone sick. So if you don’t have a good stock of hand soap, it might be good to get some more, just in case. The American Red Cross also recommends that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds in order to effectively clean them.

2. Disinfecting wipes and spray

If someone in your household is sick, the CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting surfaces as much as possible, especially if the infected person touched something. This includes frequently touched surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. Cleaning wipes and spray are still hard to find, but are still essential for sanitation. While Lysol products were specifically approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for protecting against coronavirus, make sure you have something to disinfect your home with.3. Hand sanitizer

While washing your hands is the most effective thing for preventing the spread of COVID-19, if you don’t have access to soap and water, hand sanitizer is a good second choice. Just be sure it contains at least 60% alcohol content, so you can properly sanitize your hards, according to the CDC. Earlier this year we saw a massive hand sanitizer shortage, so it might be a good idea to get a spare bottle now.

3. Hand sanitizer

While washing your hands is the most effective thing for preventing the spread of COVID-19, if you don’t have access to soap and water, hand sanitizer is a good second choice. Just be sure it contains at least 60% alcohol content, so you can properly sanitize your hards, according to the CDC. Earlier this year we saw a massive hand sanitizer shortage, so it might be a good idea to get a spare bottle now.

4. Thermometers

A fever is one of the first symptoms of COVID-19, according to the CDC, so you’re going to need a thermometer to monitor your family member’s illness and to see if anyone else contracted the virus. At the start of the pandemic, thermometers were incredibly difficult to find online and in-stores. While there are plenty of thermometers in stock right now, it’s a good idea to get one now if you don’t already have one, just in case.

6. Tissues

Although the major symptoms of coronavirus include a dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath, according to the CDC, it’s always a good idea to have an extra box of tissues lying around to cover any sneezes or coughs. You can also use tissues as a barrier between you and surfaces that could have the coronavirus like doorknobs. After testing nine different boxes (and blowing many noses), we found that Puffs Ultra Soft tissues are the best tissues and won’t irritate your nose. Be sure to have an extra box lying around.

7. Face masks

While most people don’t wear face masks in the comfort of their own home, if someone in your household has COVID-19, they’re essential. Not only do face masks help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but they also protect the wearer from the virus, according to the CDC. You should wear one when in close contact with an infected family member.

After testing a variety of face masks for comfort and protection, our experts found that the Athleta Non Medical Face Masks to be the best. Each one is triple-layered and comes with an adjustable nose piece and ear loops, and we found them to be comfortable and breathable, too. For a more affordable option, the Old Navy Triple-Layer Cloth Face Mask is our best value pick and only cost $12.50 for a pack of five.

You also might consider using disposable masks if someone in your family has the coronavirus. That way they can toss them out after each use. This 50 pack of disposable face masks from Bigox on Amazon has a 4.5-star rating from over 11,000 reviews and is a great option.

8. Disposable gloves

The CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves when disinfecting surfaces, handling items that could have come in contact with the coronavirus like trash bags and tissues, and caring for someone who is sick. Gloves should be immediately discarded after use and you should wash your hands after removing them. The Venom Steel Rip Resistant Industrial Gloves that we rated to be the best on the market for comfort and durability when testing disposable gloves, but there are other great options to use as well.

9. Humidifiers and air purifiers

According to the CDC, humidifiers can help ease some of the symptoms of the coronavirus like cough and sore throat. So it might be helpful to have one if a family member is recovering from the virus. The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier is the best humidifier we’ve ever tested. It can run for about 10 hours on the medium setting, and it was able to bring our testing chamber to 80 percent relative humidity. Plus, it comes with a medicine exhaust for some extra relief.

Air purifiers could help prevent other family members from contracting COVID-19, especially if your space isn’t well-ventilated, by filtering out airborne pathogens. Though it’s not guaranteed to prevent exposure to the virus, it can help reduce airborne transmissions when used with other sanitation best practices like hand washing and disinfecting. The Winix 5500-2 is the best air purifier we’ve ever tested, as its filers are easy to change and it has the capacity to filter out 99.97% of pathogens as small as 0.3 microns.

10. Pulse oximeters

To help monitor your family member who has COVID-19, you might want to consider getting a pulse oximeter. These medical devices attach to the finger to measure oxygen saturation in the blood, which experts believe can be a gauge for reduced lung capacity, a common symptom of the coronavirus. Oxygen saturation below 90 percent is considered hypoxic, according to the Mayo Clinic, meaning there is a lower level of oxygen than is needed in the blood and could be a sign to take your loved one for medical attention. Though it’s not necessary for everyone, it could help give you peace of mind.

By Courtney Campbell
Published at:
https://eu.usatoday.com


Men wash their hands much less often than women and that matters more than ever

(CNN)Handwashing with soap and warm water for 20 seconds — along with staying home and standing six feet apart from others — is the best weapon we have against the novel coronavirus that has infected almost 800,000 people around the world.
However, there’s one big yet little discussed difference when it comes to this essential personal hygiene habit: Women are hands down better handwashers than men.

Years of surveys, observations and research have found that women are more likely to wash their hands, use soap and scrub for a longer period of time than men after using the restroom. However, there’s still a surprisingly large portion of both sexes who don’t wash their hands at all.

People lie about washing their hands
Researchers have had to come up with clever ways to collect this data, since most people will tell you that they think handwashing after using the bathroom is important. That’s even if they don’t actually do it.

Carl Borchgrevink, director of the School of Hospitality at Michigan State University in East Lansing, takes this kind of survey data with a pinch of salt.

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“If you’re at a restroom at an airport, for example, and when you come out someone [asks] you ‘Did you wash your hands?’ And what are you going to say? Yes, of course,” said Borchgrevink.
When researchers only ask about people’s handwashing habits, “we found that the data that people were reporting seemed to be too high,” he said.

To dig deeper into what people really do after using the bathroom, Borchgrevink tasked 12 research assistants at Michigan State University with the job of surreptitiously hanging out in four different restrooms on and off campus to record what 3,749 men and women actually did. The results of the 2013 study were shocking to the researchers.

Few people wash their hands correctly
Some 15% of men didn’t wash their hands at all, compared with 7% of women. When they did wash their hands, only 50% of men used soap, compared with 78% of women.
Overall, only 5% of people who used the bathroom washed their hands long enough to kill the germs that can cause infections.
A bigger study published in 2009 that used more high tech methods at a busy highway rest stop in the UK was equally, if not more, damning.
With the use of wireless devices to record how many people entered the restroom and used the pumps of the soap dispensers, researchers were able to collect data on almost 200,000 restroom trips over a three-month period.
The found that only 31% of men and 65% of women washed their hands with soap.

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It’s a big gap — clearly twice as many women as men were washing their hands,” said Susan Michie, health psychology professor and director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at the Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at University College London.
“Another interesting result was that the more people were in the toilet area the more they were likely to wash their hands,” said Michie, who was an author of the study. “If there were no people around, people tended to zap out with no one noticing.”
There’s little to suggest that men in the UK and US are unsual in their handwashing (or lack thereof).
A review published on the subject in 2016 looked at research from dozens of different countries, and found that women were 50% more likely than men to practice, or increase, protective behavior like proper hand-washing, mask-wearing and surface cleaning in the context of an epidemic, like flu.

Why is there a gender gap?
There’s been far less research done on why there is such a gap between the sexes when it comes to hand-washing. Michie said it was likely socially programmed behavior, not genetic.
“Women are more focused on care than men — childcare, household care, personal care,” she said.

Why soap, sanitizer and warm water work against Covid-19 and other viruses
Similarly, Borchgrevink said that while his study didn’t look at why men didn’t wash their hands as much as women, he suggested that it could be down to a sense that men were too macho to fear germs.
“We did talk to some of (the men) and ask, ‘why didn’t wash your hands?'” Borchgrevink said. “And they would look at us indignantly and say, ‘I’m clean, I don’t need to wash my hands.’ They had a sense of invincibility.”
Nancy Tomes, a history professor at Stony Brook University and the author of “The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women and the Microbe in American Life,” says the hand-washing gender gap has a long history dating back to when the germ theory of disease took hold in the public consciousness in the Victorian era — that certain diseases were caused by microorganisms that invaded the body rather than bad air or miasma.

An unidentified Red Cross nurse teaches a class on home hygiene and care for the sick to a group of women of various ages, 1920.
“This changed the definition of cleanliness,” she said, and women especially were told their family’s health depended on the highest level of hygiene.
“Of course, there had been definitions of what was clean and unclean before the germ theory came along, but it injected a level of specificity and also upped the ante. If you made a mistake in your cleanliness, you could die, your family could die.
“And that message of, ‘make a mistake and your kid will die’ resonates like a megaphone in the lives of mothers (even today),” Tomes said.

Motivating men to wash their hands
Michie’s research at the highway rest stop in the UK looked at what kind of public health messaging would improve handwashing rates by using a sign that illuminated with different messages as people entered the restroom.
While the findings weren’t conclusive, the study suggested that men and women responded to different types of messaging around handwashing. Messages that triggered disgust (“Soap it off or eat it later”) resonated with men, while women were more motivated to wash by messages that activated knowledge, such as “Water doesn’t kill germs, soap does.”
Michie said she wasn’t aware of any public health campaigns that had focused their efforts on men in light of their handwashing lapses, but said this was the perfect moment to try.
“It’s an excellent idea to target men. It could be really helpful. If women knew men weren’t doing it, they’d get on to them.”

Published by Katie Hunt, CNN
Updated 1 April 2020
https://edition.cnn.com

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Spain issues warning as child hand sanitizer poisoning cases spike

The number of children treated in Spain for accidental poisonings after ingesting hand sanitising gels has soared during the pandemic, the government said Wednesday, urging parents to keep the products out of reach.

There have been 874 reported cases of intoxications from hand sanitising gels so far this year, compared to just 90 during all of 2019, the National Toxicological and Forensic Sciences Institute, a unit of the justice ministry, said in a statement.
Two-thirds of the cases involved children, especially those under the age of two. The vast majority swallowed the hand-sanitiser although some became intoxicated after getting the product in their eyes or inhaling it.
No fatalities have been reported and over 80 percent the poisoning victims recovered “in a short time”, the institute said.

The most common symptoms were, vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing, blurred vision and red eyes.
In a video message posted on Twitter, Justice Minister Juan Carlos Campo called the Zgures “alarming” and urged parents to “keep hand-sanitising gels out of reach of children and insist that its use to disinfect hands always be supervised by an adult”.

Como ministro de Justicia, pero también como padre, me preocupan los datos de intoxicaciones por gel hidroalcohólico en niños que ha difundido hoy el @INTCFjusticia. Mantengamos estos productos fuera del alcance de los más pequeños. Protejámonos, protejámosles.
pic.twitter.com/F5QGPKvX2T
— Juan Carlos Campo (@Jccampm) October 14, 2020

As in other European countries, used of hand-sanitising gels has soared in Spain to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The country has become of the pandemic’s hotspots in the European Union, with close to 910,000 registered cases and over 33,000 deaths.

Published at: The Local 15 October 2020
news@thelocal.es @thelocalspain

https://www.thelocal.es/20201015/child-hand-sanitiser-poisoning-cases-spike-in-spain


6 Common Viruses and How You Can Avoid Spreading Them Plus, find out how long you could be contagious with each one

With cold and flu season fast approaching, there’s no doubt that you’ll be extra thorough in your efforts to protect yourself from germs and viruses this year. Before COVID-19, did you ever think about how long you could be contagious after catching a cold or having bronchitis, strep throat or the flu? If not, the answers just might surprise you.

As you’re being extra cautious to avoid catching or spreading the coronavirus, keep these helpful guidelines from family medicine physician Matthew J. Goldman, MD in mind so you don’t pass the following common illnesses on to others.

Are you contagious or not?

Common Cold

When are you probably the most contagious? Within the first 48-72 hours.

How long could you be contagious with a cold? Up to 2 weeks.

How does a common cold spread? Hand contact or droplets in the air.

How do you avoid infecting others? Cough/sneeze into your elbow and not your hands.
Stay home until symptoms improve and your fever resolves.

Hand hygiene: Clean your hands often with soap and water/alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Flu

When are you probably the most contagious? Within the first 48 hours.

How long could you be contagious with the flu? Up to 10 days.

How does the flu spread? Coughing/sneezing (sends large amounts of flu virus into air).

How do you avoid infecting others? Stay on top of hand hygiene.
Cough or sneeze into your elbow and not your hands.
Stay home until symptoms improve and fever resolves.

Hand hygiene: Clean your hands often with soap and water/alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Sore Throat/Strep

When are you probably the most contagious? Within the first 48-72 hours.

How long could you be contagious with a sore throat or strep? Three to four weeks if left untreated. You could be contagious with strep 24 to 48 hours after you start antibiotics.

How does a sore throat or strep spread? Saliva or nasal mucus/discharge (especially strep).

How do you avoid infecting others?
Avoid close contact with others.
Don’t share utensils or drinks.

Extra hand hygiene: Wash your hands with plain soap and water for 20-30 seconds; scrub your nails, wrists and between your fingers. Rinse thoroughly.

Bronchitis

When are you probably the most contagious? Within the first 48-72 hours.

How long could you be contagious with bronchitis? Up to 3 weeks.

How does bronchitis spread? Through droplets in the air and contaminated surfaces.

How can you avoid infecting others?
Be sure to step up your hand hygiene.
Promptly discard used tissue and wash your hands.
Get tested for the flu.

Extra hand hygiene: Wash your hands with plain soap and water for 20 to 30 seconds; scrub your nails, wrists and between your fingers. Rinse your hands thoroughly.

Pneumonia

When are you probably the most contagious? Within the first 48-72 hours.

How long could you be contagious with pneumonia? Up to three weeks.

How does pneumonia spread? Coughing or sneezing (you can infect anyone within 6 feet).

How can you avoid infecting others?
Extra hand hygiene.
Wash your hands before making meals.
Promptly discard used tissue and wash your hands.
Environmental cleaning.

Environmental cleaning: Frequently disinfect surfaces where infected droplets can collect.

Stomach Virus

When are you probably the most contagious? Within the first 24-48 hours.

How long could you be contagious with a stomach virus? It varies. Wait 48-72 hours after your symptoms resolve to return to school or work.

How does a stomach virus spread? Sharing food or utensils, contaminated surfaces or close contact.

How can you avoid infecting others?
Extra hand hygiene.
Environmental cleaning.
Avoid close contact with others.

Environmental cleaning: Frequently disinfect surfaces where infected droplets can collect.

Publihed September 3, 2020
By Clevelandclinic
https://health.clevelandclinic.org

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