Risk of COVID-19 infection from clothes and shoes
10 Sep 2021 by Khánh Phạm
Your risk of catching COVID-19 through clothing or footwear is usually very low. However, you still should not be subjective and need to clean it.
COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus first appeared in December 2019 in Wuhan city, China. In a short period of time, the virus spread at a tremendous rate and after 4 months it became a worldwide pandemic.
According to experts, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is transmitted through 4 main ways:
- Airborne transmission: contact with the saliva of an infected person when coughing, sneezing and the virus will enter the respiratory tract.
- Direct contact with sick people, shaking hands when not taking preventive measures such as washing hands, etc.
- Transmitted by contact with contaminated surfaces, such as wood, stone, steel, iron, cloth, etc. have a long life. You are at risk of contracting COVID-19 if you touch these surfaces and bring them to your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Transmitted by the fecal route, mainly among people who normally care for sick people.
Therefore, to reduce your risk of getting sick, you should take effective COVID-19 prevention measures, such as washing your hands well, wearing a mask when going out, avoiding close contact with sick people, regularly cleaning and disinfecting the house…
However, do the above precautions really keep you from getting the virus completely? In fact, you are still at risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 when going out, like going to the supermarket or market. The virus can stick to your clothes or shoes and will have a chance to enter the respiratory system if you touch these objects.
The risk of catching COVID-19 from clothing is very low
According to Vincent Hsu, an internist, preventive medicine and infectious disease expert, said: “Every day, when you go out and visit relatives, friends or go to the supermarket, the virus will have the potential to spread. cling to clothes or shoes. However, we do not consider this to be a significant source of infection.”
According to the doctor, to date, there have been no recorded cases of transmission of the new strain of coronavirus through clothing and shoes.
We know that SARS-CoV-2 has the ability to live on different surfaces, outside the body. Depending on the type of surface, experts estimate the virus can last from a few hours to several days.
Metals and plastics are considered excellent shelters for viruses, with a maximum survival time of 2-3 days. However, clothing is not a good place for the new virus to live.
Humidity is an important environmental factor to assess whether the virus can grow or not. However, fabrics often do not have this property. In addition, the fabric surface has many small holes that will help it dry faster than hard surfaces. Therefore, the virus will be more difficult to grow on clothes.
Should clothes be washed as soon as they come back from outside?
If you’ve been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or anyone suspected of being infected, wash your clothes regularly to prevent the virus from lingering on these surfaces. Usually, healthcare and aviation personnel are at high risk of coming into contact with sick people.
If you’re only going out to shop, it’s not necessary to wash your clothes right after you get home. However, if you do not keep a distance of 2 meters from others, especially someone with symptoms of coughing or sneezing, quickly wash your clothes.
Besides, you should also wash your hands when coming back from outside and disinfect other items around the house, such as cleaning phones, doorknobs, etc.
Sanitize shoes after coming back from outside?
Shoes are often dirtier than clothes, so they can bring viruses, bacteria, and other harmful substances into the home.
However, according to experts, shoes are not a serious source of COVID-19 infection because we rarely touch them and bring them to our eyes, nose and mouth. However, to be safe, leave your shoes outside the door, not indoors. If you want to bring them inside, please clean them and let them dry to avoid the virus remaining on the shoes.
Although many people are now concerned about being infected with COVID-19 through animals and furniture, in fact the main route of infection is still from person to person. Therefore, the best way to protect health is to comply with the prevention requirements of the Ministry of Health, implement social distancing.