One of the key measures to fend off the current COVID-19 outbreak is to wash hands thoroughly. There are really good videos teaching people how to wash hands properly.

Studies have shown the most bacteria you can encounter in an airport is the kiosk for self-check-in. In a hotel- the tv remote is also a petri dish for bacteria. And let’s cringe at those who fail to wash after using the restroom.

The most effective cleansing is soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds. The soap doesn’t kill as many bacteria as you might think. It loosens dirt and allows bacteria to be washed down the drain.

When you can’t wash, hand sanitizers can help but a generous amount has to be used-enough to wet the hands thoroughly so that it takes about 30 seconds to air dry. A quarter-size amount is necessary. A tiny drop does virtually nothing. Here is a list of good hand sanitizers. I personally prefer brands like Purell with 70% or higher alcohol content. Some will have moisturizers added.

Avoiding all exposure is impossible. People don’t have to look ill in the early stages of coronavirus infection. Avoid crowds if at all possible.

In my office building in the outpatient surgery section, every patient entering is asked questions about illness and recent travel.

With the rapid spread of coronavirus, those with compromised immune systems and multiple underlying medical problems should avoid going out as much as possible. Be safe!