People who pick their noses are more likely to catch Covid-19, according to a new study.
The discovery was made by Dutch researchers investigating how seemingly harmless behaviours or physical features like having a beard or wearing glasses impacted the risk of catching Covid-19.
Over 200 healthcare workers were surveyed at the beginning of the pandemic, asking them about their nose-picking behaviours, whether they had a beard, wore glasses or bit their nails.
The study found that over six months, 17% of nose-pickers caught Covid-19 compared to 5.9% who didn’t pick their noses.
Healthcare workers are at increased risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, as they are more likely to be exposed to the virus in their work environment.
In order to protect themselves from infection, they are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face masks, gowns, and gloves. However, even with PPE, some of them are still at risk of contracting the virus.
The study found that healthcare workers who picked their noses could transfer the virus from the hands to the nose or mouth, where it can then enter the body.
The study found that out of 185 respondents, 85% of them admitted to habitual nose-picking.
Males were more likely to report nose-picking than females, and doctors were the most frequent nose pickers.
In contrast, nail-biting was less frequently reported, with 33% of respondents admitting to doing it.
This is the first study that shows nose-picking could increase your risk of contracting Covid-19.
While physical factors, such as wearing a mask and having a beard, have been widely studied, behavioural factors, such as nose picking, may also play a role in transmission.
Researchers also studied the relation between the risk of infection for people who wore glasses. However, no clear evidence was found to support the theory.
So, while those wearing glasses might touch their faces more often, it’s not unless they put their fingers into their noses that they could infect themselves.
Researchers recommended that nose-picking is a potential health hazard and that explicit recommendations against nose-picking should be included in Covid-19 infection prevention guidelines.
They also suggested future research into the effectiveness of interventions to address nose picking, such as awareness campaigns, the use of nail polish with an unpleasant smell, or the use of nasal disinfectant spray.
Source: Read Full Article