COVID-19: Not all hand sanitisers can kill virus — Pharmacist

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On March 31, 2020. 

BY Urowayino Jeremiah

A pharmacist, Mr. Ayobambo Fajuyitan, on Tuesday cautioned Nigerians against using hand sanitisers with low alcohol content in preventing COVID-19.

“Not all hand sanitisers in the market are capable of killing the COVID-19 virus because the alcohol contents are low,’’ the pharmacist told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the telephone in Ibadan on Tuesday.

According to him, hand sanitiser capable of killing the virus must have 40 percent alcohol content.

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“When at home, it’s preferred you use hand washing method: It’s better to use the hand wash in a running tap for 20 seconds when at home,’’ he said.

Fajuyitan, however, cautioned against the ingesting of hand sanitiser.

“Hand sanitisers contain majorly glycerine and ethanol.

“ Hand sanitiser contains 62 percent ethyl alcohol and that’s the equivalent of four shots of vodka.

“At that concentration, even a small dose can be dangerous if ingested,’’ Fajuyitan said.

According to him, the ingestion can lead to dizziness, slurred speech, headaches and even brain damage or death in extreme cases.

“Also ocular irritation, vomiting, conjunctivitis, oral irritation, cough, and abdominal pain.

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“Rare effects included coma, seizure, hypoglycemia metabolic acidosis, and respiratory depression may occur.

“The majority of the hand sanitisers produced in Nigeria don’t even have up to 62 percent ethyl alcohol.

“If you eat with your hands after using hand sanitiser, be cautious as excessive use of sanitiser can make you prone to viral infections as removal of bacteria give ample space for the virus to grow and sanitisers are not capable of denaturing viruses,’’ he said.

 

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