Can Covid Live on Clothes?
The novel coronavirus (Covid-19) is highly contagious, and it is essential to take precautions to prevent its spread. So, can Covid-19 be transmitted through clothes?
Risk of Infection Through Fabrics
Scientists are still studying the novel coronavirus, and it is unclear whether clothing can act as a mode of transmission. While this type of transmission has yet to be proven, it is theoretically possible for a person to catch Covid-19 from contaminated clothing. Droplets exhaled from the mouth and nose of an infected person could land on clothing or other surfaces, and if a person touches those surfaces and then touches their eyes, mouth, or nose, they could become infected.
Safe Handling of Used Clothing
In light of this risk, there are some steps to take when handling used clothing:
- Wash used clothing at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric. Be sure to read the label. If laundering is not possible, consider quarantining the item for several days and doing a thorough airing out.
- Change and wash after returning home in case clothing was exposed to contaminated materials during travel.
- Disinfect frequently touched items, like doorknobs and handles, if someone who is ill or has been exposed recently has worn the item.
- Store used clothing away from other items like jackets or scarves, and keep them in a separate laundry hamper or area that is not touched until it is time to do a load of laundry.
It is not yet known for sure whether clothes can spread Covid-19, but it is important to take precautions when handling second-hand items. That means practicing safe hygiene and laundry practices, such as washing and storing clothes away from other items. By following these protocols, you can help to minimize the risk of transmission.