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

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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.

Coronavirus symptoms: A list and when to seek help
“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.

Stress eating these days? Here’s some help
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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How long can Covid-19 virus survive on human skin? Proper hand hygiene is the key, say researchers

Coronavirus update: The 9-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV, thus accelerating the pandemic.

Coronavirus update: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that has caused the Covid-19 pandemic, can survive as many as nine hours on human skin, according to researchers in Japan. The study which has been published in ‘Clinical Infectious Diseases’ journal has underlined that “Proper hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread” of Coronavirus, as per a Reuters report.

“The stability of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on human skin remains unknown, considering the hazards of viral exposure to humans. We generated a model that allows the safe reproduction of clinical studies on the application of pathogens to human skin and elucidated the stability of SARS-CoV-2 on the human skin,” the study titled as “Survival of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus on the human skin: Importance of hand hygiene in COVID-19” stated.

Researchers evaluated the stability of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A virus (IAV), mixed with culture medium or upper respiratory mucus, on human skin surfaces, and the dermal disinfection effectiveness of 80 per cent (w/w) ethanol against SARS-CoV-2 and IAV. To avoid possibly infecting healthy volunteers, researchers conducted lab experiments using cadaver skin that would otherwise have been used for skin grafts. While the influenza A virus survived less than two hours on human skin, the novel coronavirus survived for more than nine hours. Both were completely inactivated within 15 seconds by hand sanitizer containing 80 per cent alcohol.

The 9-hour survival of SARS-CoV-2 on human skin may increase the risk of contact transmission in comparison with IAV, thus accelerating the pandemic. Proper hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of Coronavirus infections, the study says in its ‘Conclusion’ part.

Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends using alcohol-based hand rubs with 60 per cent to 95 per cent alcohol or thoroughly washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, as per the Reuters report.

By: Debjit Sinha | New Delhi
Updated: Oct 06, 2020 12:25 PM
Published at: https://www.financialexpress.com

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Which Works Best Against Covid-19: Clean Hands Or Face Masks?

To stop the spread of Coronavirus, the public needs to carry out several physical interventions at the same time. And while the media focuses on the culture war over wearing face masks, we must not forget another intervention that science suggests may be even more important than a mask: clean hands.

Hand hygiene is central to stopping Covid-19 from spreading by contact transmission, which occurs via routes such as touching a contaminated surface and then your face. Since around 1850, when microbiologists began developing the modern germ theory of disease and doctors started washing their hands, we’ve know that practicing proper hygiene helps prevent microbes from transmitting infectious diseases from one person to another.

But while there’s plenty of research on how good hygiene blocks the spread of respiratory viruses generally, there’s relatively little knowledge of how well it works against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus specifically.

As a consequence, recommendations from authorities like the World Health Organization and Centres for Disease Control are mainly based on extrapolating from other viruses with a similar structure, especially a fatty envelope that surrounds certain viruses. That envelope is studded with the proteins used to break into cells, and the logic goes that if an intervention is effective against another ‘enveloped virus’ — influenza, say — then the same should apply to novel coronaviruses.

There are hundreds of studies on interventions that might interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, but their results sometimes contradict each other. And when there’s no agreement, scientists will perform a systematic review and collect all the available research in order to analyse the quality of work then reach a consensus. That’s what was done in the 2010 Cochrane review, led by the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University. Based on 67 studies, the reviewers found that hand hygiene helps stop the spread of viruses, particularly around young children — probably because kids are less hygienic.

The 2010 review wasn’t conclusive, however, as it didn’t identify enough studies that compared the intervention with a control. Such experiments allow reviewers to perform a ‘meta-analysis’ that combines data from multiple trials then offer a conclusion. An as-yet unpublished update to the Cochrane review achieved just that, combining 15 trials involving both adults and children. Those trials weren’t carried out in a lab, but took place in homes, offices and classrooms — real-world settings where infections are commonly transmitted.

According to the new review, hand hygiene led to a 16% drop in the number of participants with an acute respiratory illness (ARI) and 36% relative reduction in an associated outcome: people being absent from work or school. The reviewers concluded that “the modest evidence for reducing the burden of ARIs, and related absenteeism, justifies reinforcing the standard recommendation for hand hygiene measures to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses.”

Although the 2020 review confirms the intervention’s efficacy in limiting viral transmission, it’s not specific to Coronavirus. A direct link to SARS-CoV-2 is supported by one study from a Covid-19 hospital in Wuhan, China, however: from a statistical analysis of several risk factors associated with transmitting the virus, researchers found that poor hand hygiene was a major factor, raising the relative risk of infection by around 3%.

The Chinese study also revealed that the higher Covid-19 risk remained even when healthcare workers wore full personal protective equipment (PPE), which suggests that hand hygiene is more important than wearing a face mask. The 2020 review also didn’t find much added benefit to wearing a mask along with good hygiene.

Anti-maskers might interpret such findings to mean that masks are worthless, but that would be wrong because the variation in results among studies was too large to draw any strong conclusions. Masks probably do help block viral transmission, but we won’t know exactly how effective they are until we have more data.

Employing only a single intervention — such as masks or handwashing — allows an infectious disease to spread because not everyone will follow the recommended guidelines and so infected people slip through the ‘holes’ in that intervention. When multiple interventions are used simultaneously, however, it’s like stacking several slices of Swiss cheese: the more slices you add, the less likely it is that two holes will overlap and let the disease pass every intervention.

While this ‘Swiss cheese model’ has traditionally been used in medical error reduction, it’s relevant to reducing Covid-19 transmission. Regardless of the relative importance of various interventions, we should employ several strategies to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

By JV Chamary
Published


COVID-19 Hand Hygiene and Dry Skin: 3 Tips for Reducing the Risk of Dry and Cracked Hands

We have been regularly washing our hands for over 20 seconds (while humming the “Happy Birthday” song!) for months now. When there are no handwashing facilities, we have been rubbing our hands with dollops of alcohol-based hand sanitizers to keep them virus-free.

A rather unpleasant complexity of these regular vigorous hand washing and sanitizing is that they tend to make our hands excessively dry and irritated. This is due to the high percentages of alcohol in hand sanitizers and the soaps stripping off the natural oils in our skin. Dry skin in hands should not be ignored since it can lead to irritations and breakage of skin.

This should not mean you should cut back on hand hygiene! One of the easiest ways to prevent dry hands is to use a moisturizer or a hand sanitizer with moisturizing agents. Puracy’s Alcohol-Based Gel Hand Sanitizer keeps your hands germ-free, and its gel consistency with moisturizing agents help keep your skin well hydrated and smooth, preventing dry and cracked hands.
Get Your Puracy’s Citrus and Sea Salt Gel Hand Sanitizer Here!

Important: Even if your hands feel dry, it’s extremely important to keep washing your hands regularly to protect yourself and others against COVID-19. You can regain the skin’s moisture barrier by following the tips below.

1. Use Lukewarm Water To Wash Hands

Washing your hands with lukewarm water is more effective in two ways. The heat helps easily break down any oils and dirt along with any infected respiratory droplets that you may have touched. Lukewarm water helps properly break down the soap for its maximum efficacy, and wash off completely without leaving any traces that can cause dry skin.

2. Use an Occlusive Moisturizer Immediately After Washing Hands

Occlusive agents in moisturizers such as waxes, oils, silicones, and petrolatum increase the overall moisture of your skin by providing a physical barrier to your epidermal water loss. Once you finish washing your hands, pat them dry, and immediately use an occlusive moisturizer to lock in the moisture. Keep a bottle of moisturizer in your bag and nearby your regular sink to help you remember to moisturize each time you wash your hands.

3. Use a Fragrance-Free, Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer

While a whiff of fragrance may be pleasant when you use your hand sanitizer, the aromatic chemicals used to create a fragrance in sanitizing products can further dry and irritate your skin. Especially since you are using sanitizer regularly these days, even the smallest amounts of added chemicals can cause damage eventually.

CDC recommends using hand sanitizers with 60-95% alcohol. While this ensures maximum protection for you, it can also be quite drying. Therefore, look for a hydrating or moisturizing component in your hand sanitizer to reduce dryness. ArtNaturals scent-free hand sanitizer comes with 62.5% alcohol content, and it’s infused with botanical extracts including aloe, jojoba and vitamin E to nourish and protect your skin from damage.

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Water & Sanitation This WHO-UNICEF Initiative Is Fighting so Everyone Can Wash Their Hands Against COVID-19

Nearly half of the world population can’t wash their hands at home.

Why Global Citizens Should Care

COVID-19 has been called an equaliser, because it doesn’t discriminate based on race, gender, geography, sexuality or religion. Yet, in the months since the World Health Organisation declared coronavirus a pandemic, it’s become increasingly evident that people from marginalised communities and poor countries bear the brunt of the virus due to lack of access to resources, like water and sanitation. You can join us here to take actions to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s most vulnerable communities.

It’s often been said that changing personal behaviour is vital in containing COVID-19: wearing a mask in public, maintaining social distance, and frequently washing hands with soap and clean water.

Yet for 3 billion people globally, access to hygiene is not as simple as turning on a tap, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

That’s 40% of the world population who cannot wash their hands with soap and water in their homes.

The majority are in sub-Saharan Africa, while children and people who live in informal settlements, refugee camps, or conflict areas are most affected by the continent’s lack of clean water and sanitation facilities.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF have recently launched a hand-washing initiative aimed at bringing attention to the plight of people who don’t have access to clean water and are, therefore, unable to protect themselves effectively from COVID-19.

“Hand hygiene has never been more critical, not only to combat COVID-19, but to prevent a range of other infections. Yet, nearly six months since the onset of the pandemic, the most vulnerable communities around the world continue to lack access to basic hand hygiene,” said the executive directors of UNICEF and WHO, Henrietta Fore and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a joint statement.

The statement added: “According to our [UNICEF and WHO] latest data, the majority of people in the least developed countries are at immediate risk of COVID-19 infection due to a lack of hand hygiene facilities.”

The statement said one billion people are at direct risk of contracting COVID-19 as a result of not having water and soap in their homes, and that almost half of then are children.

However, it’s not only homes that lack access to clean water, the statement added. “All too often, schools, clinics, hospitals and other public spaces also lack hand hygiene facilities, putting children, teachers, patients and health workers at risk. Globally, two in five in health care facilities do not have hand hygiene at points of care,” said the statement.

A report by World Vision revealed that nine out of 10 countries in the world with the worst access to water are African.

These include: Eritrea, where 81% of the population do not have clean drinking water. In Uganda, 61% of the population doesn’t have basic water services. The figures are 61% in Ethiopia, 60% in Somalia, 59% in Angola, 58% in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 58% in Chad, 54% in Niger, and 53% in Mozambique.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an uncomfortable truth: too many people around the world simply cannot clean their hands,” said the statement.

UNICEF and WHO said they will be working through the initiative with other international partners, national governments, the public and private sectors, and community organisations to ensure that products and services are available and affordable, and to enable a culture of hygiene. This includes ensuring that handwashing stations are accessible, especially in disadvantaged areas and among marginalised communities.

“We must also ramp up investment in hygiene, water and sanitation, and in infection prevention and control,” said the statement. “We urge countries to scale up, systemise, and institutionalise hand hygiene and commit to strengthening the enabling environment, supply vital products and services, and to actively promote hygiene practices as part of a package of actions that save lives.”

You can join us to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s most vulnerable and marginalised communities by taking action here.

By Lerato Mogoatlhe
Published July 2, 2020
https://www.globalcitizen.org


Controlling COVID-19: hand hygiene must be accessible to all

UNICEF and the World Health Organization have launched the ‘Hand Hygiene for All’ joint initiative to help control the spread of COVID-19.

In a bid to control the spread of the novel COVID-19 infection the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization have launched a new join initiative ‘Hand Hygiene for All’ to help make hand hygiene accessible to all, including the least developed countries that have a lack of hygiene facilities.

Hand Hygiene for All

Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, made a statement on the launch of the initiative. “As the world struggles to cope with a new disease, one of the most effective tools to prevent its spread is also one of the most basic. Hand hygiene has never been more critical, not only to combat COVID-19, but to prevent a range of other infections. Yet, nearly six months since the onset of the pandemic, the most vulnerable communities around the world continue to lack access to basic hand hygiene.

“According to our latest data, the majority of people in the least developed countries are at immediate risk of COVID-19 infection due to a lack of hand hygiene facilities. In the 60 highest-risk countries, two out of three people – 1 billion people in total – lack basic handwashing facilities with soap and water at home. Around half are children.

“All too often, schools, clinics, hospitals and other public spaces also lack hand hygiene facilities, putting children, teachers, patients and health workers at risk. Globally, two in five healthcare facilities do not have hand hygiene at points of care. We cannot overstate the threat.

“Many of the those who lack access to basic handwashing live in overcrowded, desperately poor conditions. Even before the pandemic, children and families faced barriers to accessing health and hygiene services. Now the grave risk of COVID-19 threatens further suffering and spread of this deadly disease.

“If we are going to control COVID-19, we have to make hand hygiene accessible to all. That is why we are launching a new global initiative to move the world towards the same goal: supporting the most vulnerable communities with the means to protect their health and environment.

“We are joining our efforts with those of other international partners, national governments, public and private sectors, and civil society organisations to ensure affordable products and services are available, especially in disadvantaged areas, and to enable a culture of hygiene.

“Public health response plans and reopening plans should couple physical distancing and other control measures with hand hygiene and access to safe water and sanitation, and must reach the most vulnerable communities.

“Our teams are developing comprehensive country roadmaps and committing human and financial resources to support global and local implementation efforts. Task teams will facilitate learning and knowledge exchange, while multisector stakeholders will strengthen hygiene programming and monitor global progress. Leaders and community mobilisers will advise on strategies and advocate for their implementation. Only together can we achieve universal hand hygiene.

“We must also ramp up investment in hygiene, water and sanitation, and in infection prevention and control. We urge countries to scale up, systemise and institutionalise hand hygiene and commit to strengthening the enabling environment, supply vital products and services, and to actively promote hygiene practices as part of a package of actions that save lives.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed an uncomfortable truth: too many people around the world simply cannot clean their hands. But we can help to reduce the spread, and we can prevent future infectious diseases from following a similar path. It starts by making sure everyone, everywhere has access to basic hand hygiene facilities with soap and clean water or alcohol-based products in homes, schools and healthcare facilities.”

 

Published


The One Mistake You Shouldn't Make When Washing Your Hands. How you dry your hands is equally as important as how you wash them.

Washing your hands should always be part of your personal hygiene, but it’s especially important now, amid the coronavirus pandemic. One of the first guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlined how to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. While you probably have the hand-washing part down, we bet you’ve made this one crucial mistake when drying your hands: You’re using a cloth towel instead of a paper towel.

Because paper towels are thrown away, there’s less risk of cross-contamination, unlike reusable towels. According to commercial bathroom products supplier One Point Partitions, “If multiple people use the same cloth towel to dry their hands and one of them hasn’t cleaned their hands appropriately or they touched a contaminated surface before they dried their hands, every subsequent person who uses the same towel will pick up germs during the hand drying process.”

One Point Partitions adds that “because users will throw out their paper towels after they dry their hands, paper towels don’t have the same risk of cross-contamination.” The World Health Organization (WHO) also recommends that you use single-use towels to dry your hands.

Once you’re done drying off, “use a paper towel to touch any surfaces—doors, faucets—in the bathroom before exiting,” Taylor Graber, MD, a resident physician at UC San Diego, previously told Best Life.

This last step is essential as faucet handles and doorknobs are two of the dirtiest touch points.

In fact, the faucet handles in your kitchen and bathroom contain so much bacteria that they were ranked the sixth germiest place in your home, according to the National Sanitation Foundation. And for more hygiene errors you should avoid, here’s how You Haven’t Been Rubbing in Your Hand Sanitizer Correctly, CDC Says.

By Chelsea Bengier
Published June 15, 2020
https://bestlifeonline.com


European Commission awards Resani Seal of Excellence for Covid-19 Response

Press Release: Oslo, Norway, 08.06.20

The European Commission has awarded Resani the Seal of Excellence for its Horizon 2020 proposal with relevance to addressing the challenges of Covid-19 and recommends the proposal for funding. The Seal of Excellence is a quality label, co-signed by the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, and by Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, and is awarded only to proposals deemed excellent and evaluated worth of funding.

In a highly competitive process, consisting of more than 4000 proposals that were submitted under the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Pilot for Covid-19 Response in March 2020, Resani was one of 230 applicants invited to present our project before an international panel of independent experts, and was scored as “a high-quality project proposal” and despite qualifying for funding, the European Commission could not grant Resani’s proposal funding given the limited resources available for the call.

However, we are very proud to have received the Seal of Excellence from the European Commission, and because of it, we are more motivated than ever and see this as a great validation for our vision to reshape the global approach to hand sanitisation and to better equip and shield our societies against Covid-19 and future viral outbreaks. We remain confident that we will find the perfect partners within the next weeks and months that will help us in the final steps in bringing Resani’s technology to the world; a world that is in desperate need of new accessible, reliable and sustainable hand sanitisation technology that will help save lives.

Stay tuned!

For more information, please contact:
Ingvild M.S. Løken
CEO
Email: isl@resani.com

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A (Surprisingly) Brief History Of Handwashing

Handwashing can help kill the coronavirus. But you may be surprised by how short the history of handwashing actually is among humans.

Guests

Miryam Wahrman, professor of biology at William Paterson University. Author of “The Hand Book: Surviving in a Germ-Filled World,” published in 2016. (@MiryamWahrman)

Peter Ward, professor emeritus of history at the University of British Columbia. Author of the 2019 book “The Clean Body: A Modern History.” (@UBC_History)

Emma Robbins, director of the Navajo Water Project at DigDeep, a human rights nonprofit dedicated to water access in America. Navajo artist and activist. (@robbinzintherez)

Interview Highlights

On the effectiveness of handwashing

Miryam Wahrman: “Soap is hydrophobic. And as are cell membranes. And also the coverings around viruses. And so that type of hydrophobic interaction can disrupt the structure. But the other part of the process of cleansing hands is that various things can stick on our hands. And soap helps to break the bonds between what has attached to our skin and it helps to get rid of it. And then we just rinse it down the drain. So that’s another really important part of the process of why soap and water are the most effective way to cleanse the hands. Not everything has to get killed, not all the microbes have to get killed, as long as they are removed from the surface of the skin. Then we rinse them away.”

When is it that we first began to see soap or handwashing in the context of health?

Peter Ward: “It’s a surprisingly recent development, actually. And it’s really related to the long, long, complicated history of human hygiene. It’s a story that … [goes] back to the Roman times. But it really picks up in the period from about the beginning of the 17th century onward. And there’s been since that period of time a huge transformation of body care and body treatment that sort of began in the upper reaches of a number of Western communities and gradually diffused and percolated downwards to our own dear times, when we are now obsessed with our cleanliness. At least in some respects, it seems we exempt our hands to some extent. But the rest of us, we really pay a lot of attention to.”

On handwashing in the 20th century

Miryam Wahrman: “As we get to the mid-20th century, we begin to see that hand hygiene, in fact hygiene in general and the access to clean water, has changed the landscape in terms of human health very dramatically. And the average life expectancy from 100 years ago to today has increased from about the mid-40s, up to about 80 or more. And some of that has to do with public health and hygiene and even the simple act of having access to soap and water and the types of procedures that are done in hospitals using a septic technique now. Where now we don’t have as high a risk of infection of our patients, going from patient to patient.

“These are all tremendously important improvements in terms of health, in terms of average life expectancy, in terms of recovery from disease. And these all came about thanks to scientists that were able to show the link between germs and disease, and specific germs and specific disease. So it is a long story and it does cover about 150 years, but they’re really tremendously exciting. 150 years in terms of science. I think the thing we have to keep in mind is that the science is critical in terms of helping us to move forward and to be able to deal with this challenge.”

How have things changed in terms of access to running water, bathrooms, et cetera?

Peter Ward: “About half of American homes had a bathroom in the 1940 census. And today, virtually all American homes have a bathroom. As indeed, the homes everywhere [in] the Western world. Some of them have many. So that transformation has been gradual and varied from one part of the country to the next. One social group to the next, as well. But it’s really been one of the fundamental changes that’s been associated with the hygienic revolution and the handwashing part of all that.”

” … There are these additional layers that have to do with access to privacy, access to water, development of effective sewage systems, and so on and so forth. And the people who are marginal in our world today are the people who live beyond the edges of these things. There are certainly — I know people in the United States who do live beyond the edges. And there certainly are people in my own country as well. Who many of them are First Nations people, the indigenous peoples of North America, who live in more remote areas and who do not have easy access to clean water.”

On access to clean water in the Navajo Nation

Emma Robbins: “When you are able to wash your hands, it’s very empowering. You’re reducing the risk and you’re literally in your hands, you have the ability to save lives. However, when you don’t have running water in your homes, you can’t do that for 20 seconds. You know, you can use bottled water, but that takes a ton of bottled water to wash your hands. And many families don’t have that luxury. And so there’s a third element that I always say.

“Well, number one, when you’re leaving your house to go get water, you’re exposing yourself to the virus potentially. You know, oftentimes you can get to stores and there isn’t any bottled water that’s left either on the reservation or in border towns. The second thing is when you’re doing that, there’s a lot of stress that’s involved. And we see constantly on social media, on the Internet and TV that those are the things that we can do, staying at home, handwashing. But when you can’t do that, it’s scary. You know, you start to feel like the other, that you’re not able to protect yourselves or your families. And it can be really, really, really impactful on everybody of all ages. And, you know, we’re already all experiencing not having money, not having work, you know, having to stay at home, especially in the Navajo Nation. They have a 57 hour curfew on the weekends and it’s hard. And so not having that is a lot more stressful.”

From The Reading List

Excerpt from “The Clean Body: A Modern History” by Peter Ward

Excerpted from “The Clean Body: A Modern History” by Peter Ward © 2019. Published by McGill-Queen’s University Press. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher, McGill-Queen’s University Press. All rights reserved.

Excerpt from “The Hand Book: Surviving in a Germ-Filled World” by Miryam Wahrman

Excerpted from “The Hand Book: Surviving in a Germ-Filled World” by Miryam Wahrman © 2016. Published by ForeEdge, an imprint of University Press of New England. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher, University Press of New England. All rights reserved.

The Embryo Project Encyclopedia (Originally published in The New England Quarterly Journal of Medicine and Surgery): “‘The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever’ (1843), by Oliver Wendell Holmes” — “In 1843, physician Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote and published “The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever,” an essay about puerperal fever, a disease that occurs mainly as a result of bacterial infection in the uterine tract of women after giving birth or undergoing an abortion. In the essay, Holmes argues that puerperal fever is spread through birth attendants like physicians and midwives who make contact with the disease and carry it from patient to patient. The article was published in The New England Quarterly Journal of Medicine and Surgery in 1843.”

Vox: “The evolution of hand-washing, explained by a historian” — “Are we all washing our hands several times a day? As the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic spreads, we should all be washing our hands several times a day. Take a moment right now, go give your hands a scrub with some warm soapy water for 20 seconds, and then come back. Maybe spritz around some hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to a sink. Put on a little hand lotion so your skin doesn’t get too chapped.”

Popular Mechanics: “The Shockingly Recent History of People Actually Washing Their Hands” — “It has become a ubiquitous mantra in the time of COVID-19: Wash your hands. Cheap and easy to do, it’s one of the few pieces of advice that is essentially without controversy. And yet, hand-washing is a more recent development than you might expect, and the habit did not catch on quickly.”

Washington Post: “Americans are told to wash hands to fight coronavirus. But some don’t trust the tap.” — “For the Chavez family and many others in California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley, bottled water is the toilet paper of their coronavirus pandemic — an everyday necessity that vanished from supermarket shelves.”

The Guardian: “Keep it clean: The surprising 130-year history of handwashing” — “It felt strange when Boris Johnson emerged from the first Covid-19 Cobra meeting on 2 March and told us to wash our hands while singing Happy Birthday. The preppers among us had panic-shopped while awaiting his pronouncements, and others fretted about vulnerable loved ones, travel plans, the nightmare of simultaneous homeworking and home-schooling, and not being able to work at all. And all our leader had was this?”

Freethink: “COVID’s Unique Challenge For the Navajo Nation” — “Sprawling across roughly 27,000 square miles of deserts and high plateaus, the Navajo Nation is not immune to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sovereign nation’s battle with SARS-CoV-2 has seen 2,373 confirmed cases, as of May 2, and 73 deaths. Its per capita infection rate trailed only New York and New Jersey by late April.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Published May 11th  2020 at: https://wamu.org