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COVID-19: Not all hand sanitizers can kill virus — Pharmacist

COVID 19 in Ikorodu

by Winifred Okafor

A pharmacist, Mr. Ayobambo Fajuyitan, has cautioned Nigerians against using hand sanitisers with low alcohol content in preventing COVID-19.

“Not all hand sanitizers in the market are capable of killing the COVID-19 virus because the alcohol contents are low,’’ the pharmacist told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

According to him, hand sanitizer capable of killing the virus must have 40 per cent alcohol content.

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

Fajuyitan, however, cautioned against the ingesting of hand sanitizer.

“Hand sanitizers contain majorly glycerine and ethanol.

“ Hand sanitizer 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 if ingested,’’ Fajuyitan said.

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

“Also ocular irritation, vomiting, conjunctivitis, oral irritation, cough, and abdominal pain.

“Rare effects included coma, seizure, hypoglycemia metabolic acidosis, and respiratory depression may occur. The majority of the hand sanitisers produced in Nigeria don’t even have up to 62 per cent ethyl alcohol.”

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