Preliminary report suggests 30% Alcohol effective against SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus)

Warning: I am neither a biologist, nor a journalist. My reading of this is naive, and is posted simply to draw attention to a study by seemingly reputable scientists. Seek qualified opinions, this may be nonsense.

Please include a link to this post of you pass this information on. To those people who misreport things for the purpose of click-bait, please don’t!

There is a preliminary report, posted on 17th March, which seems to find that lower concentrations of alcohol are effective against SARS-CoV-2.
I’m not qualified to have a meaningful opinion on this, but I’ll post it here to see if anyone can shed more light on it.

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.10.986711v1.full

Notably, both tested alcohols, ethanol and 2-propanol were efficient in inactivating the virus in 30s at a minimal final concentration of at least 30%

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.10.986711v1.full

Points to bear in mind:

  • This is only one study.
  • I may be misinterpreting the results.
  • The study was conducted in laboratory conditions, rather than the real world.
  • The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.

The implication, if true, is that alcohol such as Vodka or Rum could be used as a sanitiser for hands and surfaces, particularly relevant given the current shortages of pharmaceutical and industrial products.

All advice is that hand-washing with soap is the most effective way to destroy SARS-CoV-2. However, where running water is not readily available, an effective hand-sanitiser would be the next best thing.

My own approach is currently to act on the findings in this study, but as a last resort.

Hand-washing with soap is, by far, my first choice. A hand-sanitiser that meets WHO standards is my second choice.

If neither of these are available to me, then I’m using a small spray bottle filled with some 40% alcohol (by volume).

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