Warning: Not all hand sanitisers are OK for coronavirus

March 31, 2020
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Some hand sanitisers in Nigeria: Just for illustration only

Hand sanitisers with low alcohol content cannot prevent COVID-19 infection, a pharmacist, Mr Ayobambo Fajuyitan, has cautioned Nigerians.

“Not all hand sanitisers in the market are capable of killing the COVID-19 virus because the alcohol contents are low,’’ the Ibadan-based pharmacist said on Tuesday.

Fajuyitan said hand sanitisers capable of killing the virus must have a minimum of 40 per cent alcohol content.

“When at home, it’s preferred you use hand washing method. It’s better to wash the hand in a running tap for 20 seconds,’’ he said.

Fajuyitan also cautioned against ingesting hand sanitiser.

“Hand sanitisers contain majorly glycerine and ethanol.Hand sanitiser contains 62 per cent ethyl alcohol and that’s the equivalent of four shots of vodka.

“At that concentration, even a small dose can be dangerous,’’ Fajuyitan said.

The ingestion can lead to dizziness, slurred speech, headaches and even brain damage or death in extreme cases.

“Also it can lead to ocular irritation, vomiting, conjunctivitis, cough and abdominal pain.

“Rare effects included coma, seizure, hypoglycemia, metabolic acidosis and respiratory depression may occur.

“Majority of the hand sanitisers produced in Nigeria don’t even have up to 62 per cent ethyl alcohol”, he said.

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