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How do I ensure my hands are as close to virus free as possible?

by Claudine Welsh |

Huxter soap until a few days ago was available in over 5000 stores around the world. Once the pandemic has passed we hope it will be once again when stores reopen.

We have been proud of our beautifully wrapped soap from day one but we have always thought we were selling a pretty gift that happens to be soap rather than soap that happens to be pretty.

All this has changed in the last few days now that we know soap is the most effective way of keeping your skin free of virus and removing debris.

The following has been provided by, Mark Dupal, a trained molecular geneticist currently employed by a leading, global life science vendor.

 

Viruses are generally be made up of three major components:

  • A genome that is comprised of DNA or RNA (SARS-CoV19 is RNA).
  • Proteins, which encases the nucleic acid and aids viral attachment to human cells and aid in the replication inside a host body.
  • An outer layer of lipids, “lipid bilayer”, that holds everything together. (Envelope)

The connections between these three components provide viral structure, but those connections are generally weak, due to their chemical/ atomic structure.

The good thing though, it is possible to break down the particles using soap, which is particularly good at dissolving the lipid layer that surrounds the virus. It also undoes all those other weak bonds within the virus. Once that happens, the virus effectively falls apart.

Soap contains fat-like compounds called amphiphiles, (a chemical compound possessing both water-loving, and fat-loving properties) which are similar to the lipid bilayer found in the virus membrane.

These amphiphiles tamper with the lipid bilayer that holds the virus together causing the virus to break while mopping up the broken particle and dislodging them from skin when washed with water.

The primary mechanism people become infected with the coronavirus is from human-to-human transmission. A second, more subtle way of infection is through viral contamination of surfaces that are then transmitted through hand to mouth, nose and eye contact. Coughing, releases respiratory droplets from infected individuals can result in the spread to numerous surround people and promotes, rapid, multiple infections.

Droplets released through coughing and sneezing slowly settle/ fall, via gravity, and can then coat areas and persist for some time, that can result in hand contamination through contact, and can cause hand to mouth, nose and eye contact, and then infection.

 A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at how long coronavirus can be detected on various surfaces, which could serve as reservoirs for corona infection.

Although conducted in laboratory settings, the corona virus lasted for 24 hours on cardboard, two days on stainless steel, and three days on a type of hard plastic called polypropylene. The virus could only be detected for four hours on copper, a material that naturally breaks down bacteria and viruses. All of these materials could be seen as sources of infection and hence the requirement for hand sanity and cleanliness as ESSENTIAL!

 

No matter what you touch, soap and water is the best way to remove any potential coronavirus from your hands before it can lead to infection.

 

Soap is very effective at preventing infection; due to the chemical nature, soap will break down the coronavirus’s exterior cell wall/ envelope and results in the release the of virus’ genetic material, disabling the ability to infect and will then degrade. These soap molecules can then trap tiny fragments of the virus that have degraded, which can then be washed away with thorough, 20 second hand washing. Hand sanitizers work similarly by disrupting the envelope and coat proteins contained in a virus, disabling its capacity to infect.

 

More reading:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/24/health/soap-warm-water-hand-sanitizer-coronavirus-wellness-scn/index.html

 

Credits:

Dr. van Doremalen, Mr. Bushmaker, and Mr. Morris. New England Journal of Medicine March 2020

ScienceSource images

Mark Dupal, Senior Sales Director, Asia Pacific.