Coronavirus: Doctor warns against use of hand dryers

by Muizat Hameed

A consultant radiologist, Charlotte Fowler, has written to England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, sensitising him to the danger associated with the use of hand dryers against coronavirus.

Fowler stated the possibility of transmitting the virus through the use of hand dryers.

She noted that an individual could still contract the virus if hands are not thoroughly washed.

“I am writing to you as I have grave concern regarding the potential for COVID-19 transmission, following aerosol formation by high energy electric hand dryers in toilets,” she stated in her letter.

“I have been envisaging the scenario of someone who is carrying the virus but who hasn’t been 100% successful in their hand washing.

“If they were to use a hand towel they might be lucky and finish the job off. If however instead they use a hand drier to finish, they would be less effective in their decontamination.

“And this could create COVID-19 laden aerosols which could float around in the warm air eddies of the facilities being inhaled by anyone coming for the three hours afterwards,” she added.

She further stated that the hand dryers were not only drying our hands very safely, but they are whipping the virus up into the air and creating like a mist or fog.

A microbiologist at Reading University, Dr Simon Clarke, though acknowledging the possibility of a risk, he has however said that as long as people wash their hands properly, there would be no virus.

“It is a theoretical risk, but nothing is proven if you wash your hands properly, there would be no virus left to be aerosolized while using a dryer.” he stated.

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