Before the advance of the new SARS-CoV-2 virus In Nicaragua and the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) and international medical organizations urge citizens to comply with hygiene and preventive measures to prevent the spread and spread of Covid-19 disease.
Washing hands with soap and water for more than 40 seconds is the main recommendation they make to the population and the most effective way to eliminate the virus. However, the use of alcohol is an alternative to disinfect the hands when the person does not have soap and water nearby.
Leonel Argüello, specialist in epidemiology and member of the Scientific Disciplinary Committee, ensures that when using alcohol gel, several aspects must be taken into account:
-the first is that it does not replace hand washing
-which must have a concentration of more than 70 percent
-and that the hands are not dirty so that the alcohol can penetrate and that the application protocol is complied with.
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“The virus dies when it comes into contact with the soap because the virus has a protective layer of grease and when you wash your hands with soap and water, the soap destroys that fat, it remains unprotected and bursts, comes out, dies . Thus soap and water is the first recommendation and it should be done with that same washing technique for more than 40 seconds, in places where you do not have soap and water or where you cannot take your bottle with soap and water, which would be ideal, if you cannot do that then you are going to use alcohol gel with a concentration of 70% ”, says Argüello.
How should it be applied?
After pouring a good amount of alcohol gel, it should be rubbed on the palms of the hands, then on the back or the bottom of the palms. The fingers should be brought together against the palms of the hands, rubbing the thumb and then applying the alcohol gel to the wrists.
Argüello assures that this procedure has to be carried out until the alcohol disappears completely by the rub that is done.
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About the times when it should be used, the specialist says that it should be applied before touching your face, after using public transport, when entering the home. “It is not that you are throwing it all day because it does not make sense, the important thing is to learn not to touch your face and know that your hands are contaminated,” he concludes.
For its part, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, in the United States, recommends using it:
-Before and after visiting a friend or loved one in the hospital or nursing home.
-If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and wash with soap and water as soon as you can.
-Do not use a hand sanitizer if your hands are visibly dirty or oiled.
-Do not rinse or remove the hand sanitizer with a towel before it is dry.