COVID 19: TOO HIGH ALCOHOL CONTENT IN SANITIZERS INEFFECTIVE IN KILLING MICROBES
APRIL 8, 2020 @ 3.33 PM
Some consumers may think that the higher the alcohol content the more effective it would be in warding off the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19 disease) when disinfecting.
However, Dr Abdullah Asad Saddiqui, Emergency Physician begs to differ.
“While I believe that soap and water works best in destroying the virus, alcohol-based sanitizers work well too in situations where soap and water are not available.
“I also believe that too high an alcohol content in sanitizers may be counterintuitive. This is because the coronavirus is a single cell virus wrapped in a coat of protein. Alcohols such as ethanol alcohol or isopropyl alcohol can kill the virus that lands on surfaces such as the skin and personal belongings by destroying the protein layer then getting into the cell. Given that alcohol evaporates fast, too high an alcohol content may not provide enough time for the protein wall to be destroyed,” said Asad.
He also added that too little alcohol may not be adequate in killing the virus.
“Alcohol content of between 70 and 75 percent has been found to be most effective in killing microbes,” he said adding that disease prevention measures such as sanitization of hands and personal belongings must still be taken seriously post Enhanced Movement Control (EMCO) period, when one returns to work.
These measures include wearing mask at crowded places, constant hand-washing and wiping down of personal belongings with the right sanitizer.
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