Wuhan virus: Learn this key trick to protecting yourself

There is no known cure for the China coronavirus, but this simple trick is the best way to reduce the likelihood of infection

Susan Ramsay |

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You can limit your chances of catching this virus.

The new virus that’s making headlines in China seems likely to spread across the world. There have already been two confirmed cases in Hong Kong. 

While we don’t know everything about it and there is no vaccine or known cure, there is one simple thing you can do, to improve your chances of not getting it.

Wash your hands properly.

We don’t mean that you need to be obsessive about it, but possibly extra careful to ensure that you wash your hands.

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You need to wash your hands:

  •  every time you go to the toilet
  •  before every meal
  •  every time you have been out in public

It’s not good enough to just twiddle your fingers under a dribble of water, flick it off and think you’re done. Oh no.

Here’s how to do it properly, and why each step is important.
  • Wash your hands under a full stream of water if you can, so that the water flushes away the germs.
  • Use soap. Water on its own does not break down the shells of germs like bacteria and viruses. Bleach and soap do.
  • Take your time. We get it, you’re rushed. But don’t rush washing your hands. The germs are only broken down by actual manual rubbing for a certain amount of time. The general rule is you should wash your mitts for two verses of Happy Birthday.
  • Don’t just wash your palms. Yes, your fingers and palms are most likely to have been touching things, but don’t leave out the backs of your hands, or to soap right up your arms to the far side of your watch strap. You can visualise this as the “glove” area of your hand.
  • Rinse your hands while rubbing, making sure to get all of the soap off.
  • Dry your hands. You can decide if you want to use a paper towel, or the hot air blowers, or cloth you keep with you for this purpose, but don’t leave the bathroom with wet hands.
  • If using a public bathroom, use a tissue to grasp the door handle on your way out.