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As of 10 April 2020, cases of COVID-19 infections have crossed 1.6 million worldwide. The numbers are increasing despite taking strict measures like physical distancing and countrywide lockdowns.

Due to the rising number of cases, people are getting anxious about the spread of this infectious disease. People are scared to even venture outside of homes for essential supplies for fear of contracting the infection which has spread from human-to-human transmission. They not only wear masks and gloves, but also put their clothes in the laundry after returning home.   

Does infection really stay on the surface of clothes that we wear while going out? In this article, we will address this question and will tell you how the infection spreads.

  1. How COVID-19 infection spreads
  2. Can COVID-19 spread through clothes and shoes?
  3. What precautions should be taken by healthcare workers to prevent the spread of infection
  4. Doctors for Can coronavirus spread through clothes and shoes?

COVID-19 is a contagious infection and it can spread in various ways, such as:

1. COVID-19 infection can spread through person to person contact

When a person infected with COVID-19 sneezes or coughs, they contaminate the air-particles around them. If these infected air-particles are sniffed or smelled by a healthy individual, the virus in the air enters their body through mouth, nose and eyes. 

2. COVID-19 infection can spread through contaminated surfaces

The COVID-19 infection can spread through indirect contact which includes high-touch surfaces, tabletops, etc. An infected person can spread the virus-containing droplets on the surrounding objects and surfaces on sneezing and coughing. When a healthy person gets in contact with these infected surfaces, the virus sticks to the surface of their hands and enters into the body of through eyes, nose and mouth.

3. COVID-19 infection can spread through the community

A person in a community who is infected with COVID-19 but is unaware of how and where they got infected, can spread the virus quickly in the people living in that community.

If you are not a healthcare worker you do not have to worry about the transmission of COVID-19 virus through clothes and shoes. Doctors stated that there is no evidence that proves that clothes and shoes can spread this infectious disease. However, doctors and medical staff who are working with the patients suffering from COVID-19 infection have to take certain precautions to reduce the possibility of spreading the infection.

The following measures can be taken by healthcare workers to prevent the spread of infection through clothes and shoes:

  • Take a shower and change into clean clothes and shoes before heading home.
  • If you have coughed or sneezed in your sleeve, keep that piece of clothing in a separate laundry bag and wash it separately.
  • Keep your soiled clothes and shoes in a bag. Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after removing work clothes and before touching clean clothes.
  • If you are unable to change your clothes at work, remove the soiled clothes before entering the home. You can change the clothes in an isolated location such as a garage or separate laundry room.
  • If you do not wear boot covers at work remove your shoes before entering the home. Clean them with disinfecting wipes.
  • Keep separate shoes for work and for home.
  • Wash the soiled clothes using your usual laundry detergent. If the clothes cannot be washed discard them into a separate cloth bag.
  • Wear heavy-duty gloves while handling dirty laundry.
Dr. Neha Gupta

Dr. Neha Gupta

संक्रामक रोग

Dr. Lalit Shishara

Dr. Lalit Shishara

संक्रामक रोग

Dr. Alok Mishra

Dr. Alok Mishra

संक्रामक रोग

Medicine NamePack SizePrice (Rs.)
AlzumabAlzumab Injection6995.16
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Pilo GoPilo GO Cream67.5
Proctosedyl BdPROCTOSEDYL BD CREAM 15GM66.3
ProctosedylPROCTOSEDYL 10GM OINTMENT 10GM63.9
RemdesivirRemdesivir Injection15000.0
Fabi FluFabi Flu Tablet3500.0
CoviforCovifor Injection5400.0
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References

  1. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Can clothes and towels spread germs?
  2. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Can clothes and towels spread germs?
  3. Johns Hopkins Medicine [Internet]. The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System; Coronavirus Resource Center
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