AS deadly coronavirus continues to spread, people are being urged to regularly wash their hands.
Soap and water is the best method for keeping them clean but many have stocked up on hand sanitisers for on-the-go.
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However, experts have warned that wearing a watch or rings could render alcohol rubs useless against coronavirus.
Professor Mark Wilcox, a microbiologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "The NHS infection prevention & control ‘rules’ regarding hand jewellery say that wrist items of any description should be removed.
"You cannot successfully clean your wrists – which from a hand hygiene perspective are part of your hands – while wearing anything thereon.
"A simple wedding ring or band is allowed, partly through pragmatism, but "fancy" or jewelled rings are not."
Nooks and crannies
Jonathan Ball, Professor of Molecular Virology, Nottingham University, said: "Thorough hand washing or liberal and correct application of sanitiser gels would always be advisable and that certainly means ensuring that hidden nooks and crannies are cleaned, especially under rings on fingers and the like."
He added that it's unclear how mcuh surface contamination can be picked up on a watch.
Prof Ball added: "These viruses don’t live on your skin like lots of bacteria do – they are simple passengers moving from surface to hand then onto your eyes, nose or mouth.
"Provided that you keep any surface that is likely to have been in contact with a contaminated surface then you should be fine, but obviously the more thorough your cleaning ritual is, the better."
Experts have also warned against having long or artificial nails as they can “bacteria, viruses, dirt, and debris” can collect underneath them.
Prof Wilcox added that fake nails are not "welcomed".
It comes as nail biters were warned against the habit as it could increase the risk of catching coronavirus.
Purvi Parikh, from New York University’s Langone Medical Center, issued a severe warning to those with the bad habit.
Coronavirus symptoms take five days to appear – the 3 signs to watch for
As Covid-19 is a new virus, experts are still working to understand it.
According to the NHS and the World Health Organisation (WHO), early symptoms of coronavirus infection usually include:
- A cough and/or sore throat
- A high temperature
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness and are similar to other illnesses, such as the common cold or flu.
Some people will not develop all of these symptoms – and some might not even show symptoms at all, experts have discovered.
They warn that in some people, particularly those with underlying conditions, it can cause them to develop severe complications.
These include pneumonia and swelling in the lungs, which can make it hard for the lungs to pass oxygen into the bloodstream – leading to organ failure and death.
She told The Cut: “Every time you touch your face — especially your mouth, nose, and eyes — you’re transferring all of those germs. And you can get sick.”
The infectious disease specialist added that germs going into the mouth is “the easiest way you can contract any infection.”
Purvi continued: “There are so many infections going around this time of year, from bacterial to viral to the flu.
"But then on top of that, given that we now have this coronavirus, there’s even more reason not to bite your nails.”
The best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to wash your hands, public health officials have said.
People are instead urged to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds instead.
Public Health England has launched an awareness campaign reminding people to wash their hands when:
- You get to work or arrive home
- After you blow your nose, cough or sneeze
- Before you eat or handle food
Coronavirus is understood to be spreading through droplets from coughs and sneezes.
So touching surfaces where these droplets may have landed means you could easily pick it up.
You should also cough or sneeze into tissues before binning them.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We all have a role to play in stopping this disease.
"Washing hands regularly is the single most important thing that an individual can do.
"Public safety remains our top priority. The government and the NHS are working 24/7 to fight this virus.
"It’s imperative that everyone follows clinical advice by contacting NHS 111, and not going to A&E if you develop symptoms."
It comes as new research found that coronavirus symptoms could take a staggering five days to show.
And in some cases symptoms can still appear after the quarantine period, experts have said.
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