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FACT CHECK: Will Wearing Second-hand Clothing Cause Coronavirus Infection?

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Following the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic around the globe, social media has been agog with several fake news.

One of such fake news is that wearing second-hand clothing will cause COVID-19. The myth was widely shared on WhatsApp.

But how true is this?

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that a carrier of COVID-19 can infect another person through droplets from either sneezing or coughing; the other is at risk if said droplets touch eyes, nose or mouth.

From this, it is correct to say that a person cannot contract COVID-19 by merely touching infected surfaces and objects, but by putting the contaminated hand in his mouth, nose or eyes.

BBC research also shows that COVID-19 could survive in droplets for up to three hours after being coughed out into the air but goes extinct on copper after four hours.

The virus can live longer on cardboard – up to 24 hours – and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces.

WHO simply advised that: “If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.”

“The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low, and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”

Finally, the consensus for second-hand clothing is to wash before use.

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