Health officials say that wearing latex gloves while you are out and about is not a good idea.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the use of gloves out in public provides a false sense of security and represents a waste of resources. Additionally, wearing gloves does not contribute to a reduction of cross-transmission. In fact, it may do just the opposite and creates instances where people would not wash their hands.
“The use of contaminated gloves may result in germ transmission,” the WHO said.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, with Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, wrote, “Gloves are not recommended and are not something the general public would normally wear. This will definitely create a false sense of security and it is a waste of time…it will also create a demand for something unnecessary.”
For instance, if a person wears gloves and touches a shopping cart that is contaminated, the gloves then become contaminated and that person will spread the germs throughout the store.
According to the WHO, if a person uses a Lysol wipe to wipe down a cart that just happens to be contaminated, at that point, the contamination is contained. If a person wears gloves, they do not use a Lysol wipe. That person touches the cart, which in turn contaminates the gloves. That person will then walk around touching other things and spread the virus around.
Health officials say that when latex gloves are used in a healthcare setting, the gloves are worn for a short period of time and then discarded.
When to use a mask
- If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with the suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
- Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
- Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
- To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.