AS the number of cases of coronavirus in the UK continues to rise every day, people are doing all they can to protect themselves.
In particular, many people have been using disposable gloves in a bid to lessen their chances of contracting the life-threatening illness while at the supermarket or picking up groceries.
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Despite this, experts are now warning that these gloves could actually put you at greater risk of Covid-19 if you don't use them correctly.
While the gloves create a barrier between your skin and what you touch, they can also spread contamination.
In particular, medics say that if you are using gloves, you should make sure you're aware of how to properly put them on and take them off so you don’t contaminate yourself and other surfaces.
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that to take off your gloves properly you should grasp the outside of one glove at the wrist, while being conscious not to touch your bare skin.
You should then peel the glove away from your body, pulling it inside out – and once it's removed you should hold it in your gloved hand.
Then to peel off the second glove, you need to put your fingers inside the glove at the top of your wrist and turn the second glove inside out while pulling it away from your body – leaving the first glove inside the second.
The CDC urge people to only use their gloves once and dispose of dirty gloves safely by putting them in the rubbish bin and immediately washing your hands afterwards with soap for at least 20 seconds.
Medics are also warning about the type of gloves you use to protect yourself – as using improvised gloves (like your winter pair) could make taking them off safely more difficult than if you’re wearing rubber latex medical gloves.
Thomas Russo, the chief of the infectious disease division at the University of Buffalo, said that in the medical world, you can slip the clean hand under the cuff of the second glove, so you never touch a contaminated surface, and you pull the glove inside out.
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"But how can you do that with a winter glove? You can’t really do that easily. You could do it with a medical glove because they’re really thin and designed for one-and-done,” he told HuffPost.
Earlier this week, Dr Karan Rangarajan, who is a NHS surgeon, warned people about wearing gloves during the pandemic – as it could give people a false sense of security against catching coronavirus.
And he explained that washing your hands was the most important thing to tackle the germs.
Speaking to the camera, he said: "You’ve got your gloves, you’re at the supermarket, you’re touching things – there you go… germs.
"You keep touching more things throughout same day with these same gloves, germs everywhere. You’re accumulating germs.
"Your glove is now more full of germs than your hand would’ve been if you washed each time.
"Remember, with these same gloves you’ll be touching your steering wheel, you might accidentally touch your face, transferring the germs to yourself.
"And then when you’re changing the gloves you might actually be touching the glove itself."
He added: "Just wash your hands, be sensible, stay safe."
It's crucial that you wash your hands regularly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds, to stop the spread of coronavirus.
In a viral video this week, a nurse also revealed how easily coronavirus can spread – even if you're wearing gloves.
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Molly Lixey, who lives in Michigan, demonstrated how gloves do not provide protection if you do not sanitise the belongings you regularly use – for example your phone – and if you do not wash your hands.
"There's no point in wearing gloves if you're not going to wash your hands every time you touch something," Lixey emphasised.
Health bosses say the best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands with soap and water for the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.
Happy Birthday takes about 20 seconds to sing twice and is said to be the perfect number to clean your hands to thoroughly.
Wearing masks will reduce the risks of contraction under poorly ventilated circumstances by diverting the flow of infected breath away from your mouth.
However, like gloves, they are far less effective if not worn and fitted properly as they will not be able to form a seal and filtration.
When applied correctly they will form a seal, like a pair of swimming goggles, but get hot and stuffy, so most people are likely to try and open them at the sides to breathe better, defeating the purpose.
Manufacturers advise that it must cover both the nose and mouth to keep you from breathing in mould and dust. If it does not have a snug fit, it will not work properly.
It must form a seal around your mouth and nose, which is why we are seeing medics with bruising and red marks on their cheeks.
It will not work properly for people with beards or facial hair. Even one-day beard growth has been shown to let air leak in, so shave.
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