Preventing Corona Virus with Washing Hands and soap has been a common campaign everywhere now to kill the coronavirus and preventing corona virus from entering our body. The Perspective of Microorganisms, soap is destructive. A drop of ordinary soap diluted in water is sufficient to rupture and kill many types of bacteria and viruses, including the new Coronavirus that is currently circling the globe. The secret to soap’s impressive might is its hybrid structure.1
Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) spreads through the air in the form of small particles that an infected person near you breathed, sneezed, coughed, or let loose while talking. They can enter your body through the eyes, mouth, or nose. Recent findings suggest that those germs can also survive hours, even days, when they land on objects made of plastic, metal, and cardboard.2
Some bacteria and viruses have lipid membranes that resemble double-layered micelles with two bands of hydrophobic tails sandwiched between two rings of hydrophilic heads. These membranes are studded with important proteins that allow viruses to infect cells and perform vital tasks that keep bacteria alive. Pathogens wrapped in lipid membranes include Coronaviruses, HIV, the viruses that cause hepatitis B and C, herpes, Ebola, Zika, dengue, and numerous bacteria that attack the intestines and respiratory tract. When you wash your hands with soap and water, you surround any microorganisms on your skin with soap molecules. The hydrophobic tails of the free-floating soap molecules attempt to evade water; in the process, they wedge themselves into the lipid envelopes of certain microbes and viruses, prying them apart.1
But it has to be done the right way. The gold standard involves scrubbing your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds. Since our hands have many parts to clean individually and the lather needs to cover all of them to capture the germs which make 20 seconds allows for enough time to be thorough, and for soap molecules to do their job on the entire hand.2
In this blog we are not encouraging people not to use hand sanitizer at all, but according to me, we just need to know when we can use the hand sanitizer and how it works compared to washing our hands by water and soap.
Even CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. But if soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.3
Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals, like pesticides and heavy metals, from hands.3 Disrupting and sequestering viruses and other contaminations with soap and water is different than using disinfectants and sanitizers, which are designed to kill germs but not remove them from your skin.2
Based on what we wrote above, we would like to encourage everyone to wash their hands if possible and use a hand sanitizer for emergency case when you can’t find soap and water. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? The “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Stay Safe.