Health

Washing hands and Halloween candy can mitigate COVID-19 contamination risks: Study

ANI | October 31, 2020 07:51 AM
Representative image

Washington [US], October 31 (ANI): New research shows that COVID-19 exposure risk from contaminated candy could be successfully mitigated both by washing hands and washing candy using a simple at-home method.

A team of researchers published this work in mSystems, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The researchers enrolled 10 recently diagnosed asymptomatic or mildly/moderately symptomatic COVID-19 patients to handle typical Halloween candy (pieces individually wrapped) under three conditions: normal handling with unwashed hands, deliberate coughing and extensive touching, and normal handling following handwashing.

The researchers described how they washed the candy, a simple process, which should be easy for anyone to recreate with household ingredients: In a container big enough to fit the amount of candy you intend to wash, prepare a 1:50 dilution of dish soap detergent (containing Sodium laureth sulfate [SLS] sometimes written as Sodium dodecyl sulfate [SDS]) in water by mixing 3 oz of detergent per gallon of water. Submerge the candy in the solution and agitate to evenly cover all surfaces of the candy wrappers with the detergent solution. Let the candy sit in the detergent solution for no less than 1 minute. Finally, rinse the candy with clean water.

From the candies not washed post-handling, SARS-CoV-2 was detected on 60% of candies that were deliberately coughed on, 60% of candies normally handled with unwashed hands, but only 10% of candies handled after hand washing. Treating candy with dishwashing detergent reduced SARS-CoV-2 load by 62.1% in comparison to untreated candy. Viral RNA load of SARS-CoV-2 was reduced to near zero by the combination of handwashing by the infected patient and 1-minute detergent treatment after collection.

It is important to note that SARS-CoV-2 is primarily transmitted by respiratory droplets and aerosols. "Taking preventative measures to clean candy is reasonable if one wants to be extra cautious, but th main risk of COVID-19 transmission during trick-or-treating is airborne transmission," saide Rodolfo Salido, Ph.D., lead author on the study and research associate in the department of engineering, University of California, San Diego. (ANI)

Have something to say? Post your comment
Must Read
Social needs linked to low health-related quality of life among African-American cancer survivors, finds study
Social needs linked to low health-related quality of life among African-American cancer survivors, finds study
Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan launches Punjab police’s “Cyber Surakhya” campaign
Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan launches Punjab police’s “Cyber Surakhya” campaign
Wouldn't have even looked at Dhoni if he had long hair when we met: Wife Sakshi
Wouldn't have even looked at Dhoni if he had long hair when we met: Wife Sakshi
Punjab State Child Rights Protection Commission seeks report from Director of Health Department in Bathinda case
Punjab State Child Rights Protection Commission seeks report from Director of Health Department in Bathinda case
'Harry Potter' star Rupert Grint makes Instagram debut, shares adorable first photo of infant daughter
'Harry Potter' star Rupert Grint makes Instagram debut, shares adorable first photo of infant daughter
Gold loans helped Indians weather COVID-19 pandemic: World Gold Council
Gold loans helped Indians weather COVID-19 pandemic: World Gold Council
Surjit Hockey Society's coaching camp is an excellent initiative - Nitin Kohli
Surjit Hockey Society's coaching camp is an excellent initiative - Nitin Kohli
France welcomes Biden's pledge to bring US back to Paris Climate Accord
France welcomes Biden's pledge to bring US back to Paris Climate Accord
New Zealand strengthens support to small businesses for economic recovery
New Zealand strengthens support to small businesses for economic recovery
Anil Kapoor pens heartwarming birthday wishes for son Harrshvardhan, terms him 'friend and confidant'
Anil Kapoor pens heartwarming birthday wishes for son Harrshvardhan, terms him 'friend and confidant'
Actor Chiranjeevi tests positive for COVID-19
Actor Chiranjeevi tests positive for COVID-19
More economic worries mean less caution about COVID-19: Study
More economic worries mean less caution about COVID-19: Study