< Hygiene

What are the simple rules of hygiene to adopt during COVID-19?

Text updated on 2020-05-20

Protect your eyes, nose, and mouth: the gateway to the virus!

At home


All these measures must be explained to school-age children.

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Measuring the spread of the virus in a hospital in China reveals that the virus is found within 4 meters of COVID-19 patients.

Guo, Z. D., Wang, Z. Y., Zhang, S. F., Li, X., Li, L., Li, C., ... & Zhang, M. Y. (2020). Aerosol and surface distribution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in hospital wards, Wuhan, China, 2020. Emerging infectious diseases, 26(7).

This study is close to real conditions (no forced coughing, breathing for 30 min) and PCR tests are performed on droplets of different sizes. It should also be noted that sick patients who do not cough may produce droplets containing viruses. The barrier action of the masks is very clear.

Leung, N. H., Chu, D. K., Shiu, E. Y., Chan, K. H., McDevitt, J. J., Hau, B. J., ... & Seto, W. H. (2020). Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks. Nature Medicine, 1-5.

Using a laser beam, researchers have observed that saying the words "Stay Healthy" generates thousands of droplets of saliva that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. A homemade wet cloth mask significantly reduces droplet excretion.

Anfinrud, P., Bax, C. E., Stadnytskyi, V., & Bax, A. (2020). Could SARS-CoV-2 be transmitted via speech droplets?. medRxiv.

A study conducted on American students indicates that, on average, a person touches their face 23 times per hour and the mucous membranes of their face 12 times per hour, i.e., once every 5 minutes. Kwok, Gralton, McLaws.

Kwok, Y. L. A., Gralton, J., & McLaws, M. L. (2015). Face touching: A frequent habit that has implications for hand hygiene. American journal of infection control, 43(2), 112-114.

In one restaurant, a COVID-19 pre-symptomatic person contaminated at least two other people more than 2 meters away, who were eating at two adjacent tables. The people who were not in the direct airflow of the person with the disease were COVID-19 not contaminated.

Lu, J., Gu, J., Li, K., Xu, C., Su, W., Lai, Z., ... & Yang, Z. (2020). COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with Air Conditioning in Restaurant, Guangzhou, China, 2020. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 26(7).

Several cases of COVID-19 infections in January-February 2020 in South Korea were due to contamination during a family meal or at a restaurant/café.

Kong, I., Park, Y., Woo, Y., Lee, J., Cha, J., Choi, J., ... & Kim, T. (2020). Early epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 28 cases of coronavirus disease in South Korea. Osong Public Health Res Perspect, 11(1), 8-14.

Further reading

What do the abbreviations COVID, SARS, CoV, RNA, etc. mean?

What is the purpose of social distancing?

What is the recommended distance between two people?

How do you wash your hands?

Why put on a mask?