Amid the coronavirus pandemic that’s sweeping the world right now, experts have taken every opportunity to remind everyone to take personal measures to ensure their own safety. On the top of the list is to practice social distancing but we all know you can’t stay at home 100% of the time for one reason or the other (e.g. to buy groceries or medicines).
That’s why they’re also recommending people to keep washing their hands. And it’s not just your normal wash. You need to wash your hands for 20 seconds or more.
In case you’re wondering why it has to be 20 seconds, Good Health decided to use a special UV camera to find out the state of one’s hands depending on how one washes them. The results are enlightening.
About a quarter of people just do a quick rinse and shake. But under the UV camera, the hands are glowing white, indicating that most of the germs are still there.
Doing a six-second wash (the average length of time most people wash their hands) without using soap reduces the white areas but is still not nearly enough.
Adding soap to the six-second wash is much better.Actually, the soap doesn’t kill the bacteria. Part of the soap molecule attaches to water while another part attaches to dirt (where the germs are) and then gets washed off.
That’s why hygiene expert Lisa Ackerley says: “Scrub the fingertips against your palms to clean under the nails.”
If we follow the 20-second washing recommendation and combine it with soap, the white areas are much less compared to the six-second wash.
In the UV pic, the white areas that remain are around the cuticles, a small patch on the side of the thumb, and a streak atop the little finger.“You need that time to clean all the little bits of your hands,” adds Ackerley.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually advocates a 30-second washing rule.
The UV pic speaks for itself.Almost all the white spots are gone, though amazingly, small traces remain. Does that mean longer is better? Dr. Val Curtis, a public health expert at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said, “It’s getting rid of the majority that matters.
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