Can the Coronavirus Live on your Clothes

It's true: Germs can live on your clothes, and they can live on your body. While that might not be the most buzzworthy topic right now in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, it's very important to take precautions whenever we can. The UK's National Health Service reports that there are three primary ways that germs can be spread by clothes and towels: Shared towels or bedding can spread contamination… dirty laundry can spread germs when handled… and even the laundering process itself can spread germs. Many of the guidelines for protecting yourself against COVID-19 focus on cleaning hard surfaces and high-touch surfaces like your smartphone. "You don't actually need to use antibacterial or antiviral products on your phone. You can just use simple soap and water." But the CDC also suggests that there's some risk involved when you're handling the clothes or bedding of an infected person.


They strongly recommend that you "Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard [the gloves] after each use. If using reusable gloves, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other household purposes." And please be sure to wash your hands properly after handling the laundry. The CDC advises that, "If possible, do not shake [your] dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air." You should also make sure that you clean and disinfect any and all laundry hampers. The COVID-19 virus is extremely contagious, but of course, it can't jump from surface to surface the way that fleas can.


When experts describe the virus "jumping," they mean it in an entirely different way. As Quanta magazine reports, "[It's a disease that] can jump between humans and other animals. [...] While the specifics differ, the mechanism relies on the same fundamental premise: access and ability. Can a virus reach the cells of its host?" The COVID-19 virus can, of course, be spread through coughs and sneezes. In fact, a single cough can produce up to 3,000 droplets, and these droplets can live for several days on hard surfaces like metal, glass, or plastic. Meanwhile, UCLA professor Jamie Lloyd-Smith told NPR, "What [our] experiments show is that the virus can remain viable floating in the air for some number of hours. The experiments went out to three hours, and, you know, there were still viable viruses present." But, as NPR reports, "Lloyd-Smith says this experiment definitely does not prove that people have been infected this way by particles of virus that float in the air, what scientists call aerosolized transmission.


He says what remains unknown is what dose is needed to infect someone." What is known is that it's exceptionally important to continue practicing social distancing and, again, making sure that you wash your hands often. And in case you aren't entirely clear on what social distancing is, Johns Hopkins Medicine explains, "[It's] deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19." It's also important not to touch people when greeting them so no handshakes or high-fives. Your safest bet is simply not going out in public at all work from home, have your groceries delivered, and communicate digitally instead of in-person.


According to the CDC, person-to-person transmission is the primary way that the COVID-19 virus spreads. Basically, don't touch other people… or at least, don't touch other people who aren't in your household. Another important note: Surgical masks aren't recommended for the general public. They should only be worn by medical professionals or people who are caring for an infected person. That's because there's currently a critical shortage of personal protective equipment for medical providers. Meanwhile, if you've been out in public near at-risk persons or if you've been exposed to someone suspected of having coronavirus that large pile of laundry is even more pressing. The National Health Service recommends that you wash your laundry in water that's at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and be sure to use a bleach-based product, which is available in most laundry aisles.


The CDC also advises that you let these laundered items fully dry. Stay safe out there! On second thought… stay safe by staying indoors..



you can trust the four one one and the entire Kato you news team to bring you only the facts not fear but there is a lot of misinformation online Sheryl Mercedes is separating fact from fiction and today's verify segment hey Russ the kiddos are home no doubt the laundry is piling up someone asks can the köppen 19 spread through washing clothes if you are sharing the same washer and dryer well that is false in fact you can do laundry with your laundry with someone who is infected with the virus and wash the clothes together but there are some suggestions from the CDC they say use warm water and make sure those clothes are completely dry before you put them away they also add it is a good idea to line your hampers and don't shake out your laundry before you put it in the wash someone else asked should people with underlying conditions such as weakened immune systems continue taking medications that contain steroids such as prednisone well that is true health experts recommend that you continue to take those medications but take extra steps to protect yourself like having your groceries and medications delivered if that's possible and finally the government is recommending that we limit gatherings to 10 people or less does that include funerals might be hard but it is true doctors recommend using technology like FaceTime Facebook Live and Skype to be present without physically being there to limit the spread of the virus Russ I was just invited to a virtual baby shower so there you go interesting do you still have to send a gift I guess is the big question absolutely it's in an actual gift all right Cheryl thank you very much if you see something online and you wonder if it's legit just send it to our verify team and we will definitely look into it for you


is it true that gas station pumps are another way to catch the virus I mean they've got to be loaded with germs they are and so you want to either use gloves that you take off or wash your hands afterwards even using the if you will the alcohol cleanser or something like that easiest ways obviously use a glove or two gloves to do it that's right and it stays on now it there should be an effect of the cold I've not seen that data if it's a cold pumphandle but it does stay on steel which most of those hours if you will that type of metal for about three days up to three days oh no if there's copper in it and I don't know what it's made of but if there's copper in it it could be a much better content because copper actually kills this virus yeah you would think how many people are probably using that gas handle before you I've got one of those squeeze bottle things in my car with heavy alcohol sanitizer and that's the first thing I do after I'm done pumping gas all right here's the next one coming in if washing your clothes helps kill the virus can you just put your clothes on a hot dryer for thirty minutes to kill the virus is that faster or do you have to wash the clothes first well detergent is one of the best things so just a few seconds with the detergent kills the virus temperature does as well but it's a hundred and forty degrees for 15 minutes I don't know enough about a dryer cycle to know the answer to that question but I think 15 minutes in a dryer would do it as well and it probably gets much higher than 140 degrees in there but the detergent is a key thing so flip them in the washer for a few seconds beforehand all right next text question coming in what do you say to parents of teens and young adults about hanging out at their boyfriend or girlfriend's house is that okay or should they be meeting in other places and keeping social distance social distance is a great way if you knew exactly who that teen was among that is if it was just you and that teen and his family and that teen so that it's really a small group essentially a big family that might be okay but you you've got to know who he contacts with so you're you're in two quotes with too many people probably


and we know you have a lot of questions on kovat 19 as the situation changes every single day we're here to help and so is our 9 health expert dr. Pyle Coley she joins us live this morning to answer some of your questions hey dr. Coley good morning hey good morning how are you I'm doing well I'm doing well so the first question comes from a viewer who asks how do people without symptoms spread Koba 19 if they aren't coughing or sneezing yeah so with the SARS virus actually the virus replicated deep down in the lung so you actually had to cough or expel respiratory droplets in order to spread the virus but the interesting thing with this virus is it replicates in the nose and so even as we're talking we spread respiratory droplets and so for those people that don't have symptoms they're not coughing they're not sneezing the virus is replicating in their nose and they're shedding or dropping these viral particles as they're talking and that's why that social distancing is so important because if you're not close to that person within 6 feet then it's unlikely that those viral particles will get to you it's very interesting and next question is from someone who asks how long does the virus last on clothing yes so we've wondered this ourself as physicians because we're wearing clothing that's going from the same room to room and interestingly enough it has not actually been studied formally but clothing is a soft surface it's called a porous surface unlike plastics or Steel's which are called hard non-porous surfaces so we expect that it doesn't last as long on clothing as it does on harder surfaces but we're still thinking probably hours to days now the one interesting thing about clothing is we often have buttons or zippers that are made of either plastic or steel or some other material and it can certainly for up to three days as we found out so it's really important to treat clothing as if it's contaminated if you think you've been in contact while you're wearing your clothes with somebody who maybe you know shedding the viral particles in the same line of questioning the final question is from a viewer who asks do we need to take any precautions handling the products that we're getting at grocery store so what about the fresh vegetables is it just washing with hot water would that be enough yeah so the fresh vegetables that are not I generally tend to use water and dish soap because we do know with our experience from hand-washing and the science about the virus that soap is much more effective than just water alone so water does get rid of some viral particles but you really need that soap to inactivate that outer membrane of the virus so something's not wrapped like bell peppers tomatoes or something like that then I usually wash it with soap and water if it's wrapped like spinach then I usually kind of just wipe down the bag with a sanitizing wipe all right dr.


Coley thank you so much for the great advice.


welcome back to the QA you've been sending us your questions about the coronavirus and we've got your answers tonight first up Lisa Ward emailed us and she's asking if Maryland Governor Hogan bans gatherings of 250 people or more what about the casinos well we reached out to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming and here's what they told us all concerts and events with more than 250 people have been canceled but we found that casinos were still operating today they told us they were taking all necessary precautions to comply with the state of course we're gonna stay on this and keep you posted coming up next a lot of you are asking if cope at 19 can live on our clothes infectious disease specialist dr. Linda Napa she's got your answer she said the virus can live on surfaces like wood glass and clothing but the virus will likely die if you wash your clothes in hot water and detergent and finally for people who recover from the corona virus will they have permanent lung damage it's a common question doctor Nevada says based on data from the rest of the world that she's seen no one appears to have lung damage have you got any more questions that we didn't get to of course send them our way use the hash tag the Q&A on social media or email us at the Q&A at wusa9


Leave A Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published