Most of the world is now under community quarantine because of the infectious COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is the latest strain of a novel coronavirus recently discovered. Also known as 2019-nCOV, COVID-19 can cause mild to fatal respiratory disorders to infected individuals. People infected with COVID-19 may show symptoms that include severe coughing, fever, throat pains, and breathing difficulties, which may eventually develop into severe acute respiratory syndrome and pneumonia. If not treated immediately, COVID-19 infections may lead to death.
Since the COVID-19 is widespread, it becomes a serious matter which requires the cooperation of all individuals across the world to do their part in breaking the chain of infection. One way of doing this is to use hand sanitisers.
The COVID-19 Chain of Infection
The COVID-19 chain of infection is composed of six main parts. If these parts remained connected, the disease would continue. Here are the parts of the chain of infection.
- The Infectious Agent. The infectious agent may include bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. In this pandemic, the COVID-19 virus is the infectious agent.
- The reservoir serves as the place or area where the COVID-19 virus can thrive on. There is evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted and thrive in all areas regardless of climate. Although there are reports that the survivability periods of COVID-19 on different surfaces vary, it is still best to be careful about the areas that you will touch.
- Portal of Exit. This part describes how the infectious agent travels from one reservoir to transfer to another area. For COVID-19, the portal of exit is through the mouth by way of coughing, sneezing, or the splattering of body fluids such as saliva.
- Mode of Transmission. This part of the chain describes how COVID-19 can enter a new host. The mode of transmission of COVID-19 is through direct and indirect contact with an infected individual.
- Portal of Entry. COVID-19 enters the new host by way of the respiratory tract.
- Susceptible Host. COVID-19 can infect any individual. However, some individuals that may test positive from COVID-19 become asymptomatic and show no symptoms of being infected.
Breaking the Chain with Proper Hand Hygiene
One way to end the COVID-19 is to break its chain of infection at any link. The easiest and most straightforward way to do this is to interrupt the mode of transmission part by washing your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water to kill any COVID-19 virus that you may have obtained from touching different surfaces. However, if you have no immediate access to water and soap, the use of hand sanitisers may also work well. However, when using sanitisers, you must remember the following:
- If you are using hand sanitisers instead of water and antibacterial soap, it is best if the hand sanitizer has at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Clean your hands with hand sanitisers by following the proper procedures of handwashing with soap and water.
- Hand sanitisers may reduce the number of infectious agents significantly on your hands, but they are not guaranteed to eliminate all types of infectious agents. It is best to immediately wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you can get access to them.
- When using sanitisers, make sure to use the recommended amount of sanitizer that will cover both your hands and rub your hands clean until the sanitizer completely dries out. It is best to let the sanitizer dry out on your hands than wiping them dry.
By doing a simple act as maintaining proper hand hygiene, you are doing your part in breaking the chain of infection of this COVID-19 pandemic.