Since the COVID-19 virus was declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” on 30 January 2020 by The World Health Organization (WHO), questions have come up as to how to best protect ourselves against this very contagious virus.
All advice, thus far, has centered around:
- Social Distancing
- Self Quarantine
- Increased hand washing
Each of these is essential to avoiding infection.
At Nature’s Own Doctor we’re focusing in on hand sanitization.
To understand the importance of hand sanitization, let’s first understand a little about viruses and bacteria. This will help us to answer one question which is being asked a lot.
Will an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer protect against a virus?
Both viruses and bacteria have a few commonalities:
- They can both be contagious and can be spread through coughing, sneezing, and contact.
- Biologically, their structure is similar only to the extent that neither possesses a nucleus.
The differences are:
- Bacteria are one-celled organisms. Viruses are not.
- Viruses are not cells at all. They are stands of genetic material within a protective protein coat around them.
- Viruses are smaller than a single cell, and must attach to a living cell (or host).
- Viruses use the genetic material from the living cell to reproduce.
- Viruses cannot exist on their own. Bacteria can.
- Viruses ultimately destroy the cell that they attach to.
- Viruses are not alive. They attached to living cells and kill them by multiplying within each cell.
So, the way to destroy a virus is by destroying their outer protective protein coating. Hand washing is so important because we touch everything we come into contact with. Our hands carry these inactive viruses until our hands inevitably move to our faces and that is one main way that viruses enter our bodies. That’s why hand washing is so important.
Hand washing destroys the protective protein coating around the viral strain and prevents the virus from activating with our internal cells
The types of products that can destroy the protective coating of most viruses (including the COVID-19 virus) are:
- SOAP & VIGOROUS CLEANING: Active washing with soap and water above 77 degrees F. is the best way to destroy a virus before it destroys you. This is accomplished by the combination of the soap and the mechanical vigor that we use in rubbing our hands together. Both are important.
- ALCOHOL: Next best to soap and water is a hand sanitizer with over 60% alcohol concentration. This is not a substitute for hand washing, but it is a good compliment to it. The alcohol will destroy the outer protective protein coating and destroy it.
So look for a product that says anti-bacterial and anti-viral and check the label to make sure it is above 60% alcohol. But, more is not better. 100% alcohol content evaporates so quickly that it doesn’t have time to kill the bacteria or virus. Also, some people are claiming to make their own hand sanitizer from drinking alcohol (like Vodka). At 80 proof, that’s only 40% alcohol by volume. Not enough to destroy a corona virus.