Don’t make your own hand sanitiser – it won’t protect against coronavirus, experts warn – The Sun

WITH deadly coronavirus quickly spreading throughout the UK, people are desperately grappling to get stocked up on hand sanitiser.

However, with a widespread shortage of the products and with prices of some bottles surging to up to £40 – many are turning to making their own homemade solutions.

Read our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates

In particular, they are putting together hand gels to beat Covid-19 – usually made from aloe vera gel and alcohol.

Despite this, Public Health England are now warning people against doing this, saying these homemade hand sanitisers won't actually protect you from the virus.

Dr Nick Phin, deputy director at the National Infection Service, PHE, has instead urged people to stick to soap and water, and wash your hands for the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.

He told HuffPost: "The best way to protect yourself from infections like coronavirus is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water."

Similarly, Dr Jenna Macciochi, an immunologist based at Sussex University, explained that homemade sanitisers might not be up to scratch like the shop-bought gel which has more than 60 per cent alcohol.

She added: "It’s not necessary for most people who have access to regular hand washing with soap and water, which is perfectly sufficient.

"Homemade sanitiser will most likely be less effective than ones that you can buy and have a known amount of alcohol in them."

Dr Macciochi also warns that you may also damage your skin with a homemade solution, if you don’t know the concentrations of the ingredients you’re using.

This is because too much alcohol on your skin can damage your hands, as well as stripping it of its nature oils.

It comes as cases of coronavirus have today surged to 53 in the UK – with 94,192 cases worldwide.

A doomsday scenario set out in official papers seen by The Sun also revealed four in five Brits could become infected by deadly coronavirus — with up to 500,000 killed.

In February alone, it's estimated that hand sanitiser sales were up 255 per cent, according to research company Kantar.

Other kinds of liquid soaps saw sales increase by seven per cent, and ten per cent more was spent on household cleaners.

What to do if you're worried you've got coronavirus

The new coronavirus is continuing to sweep its way across the globe with Britain seeing more cases in people who aren't linked to outbreaks overseas.

Symptoms of Covid-19 can include:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • difficulty breathing

In most cases, you won't know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus.

But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract, it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems.

It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes.

The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene.

If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with others.

You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze then throw it away and wash your hands.

Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important.

Meanwhile, leading symptom-checking provider to the NHS Doctorlink has been updated to help identify patients' risk of having coronavirus.

Source: NHS

In the House of Commons on Tuesday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock was questioned about low supplies of products such as hand sanitiser and whether the UK will have enough of medicines such as paracetamol.

"Our no-deal planning and our no-deal stockpiles are playing an important part in making sure we are fully prepared and ready," he said.

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