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COVID-19: Beware! Shoes Can Carry And Transmit Coronavirus, Says Study

Multiple studies have shown that the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19 or SARS CoV-2) can live on surfaces such as glass, plastic, steel and cardboard [1]. But a new study has claimed that SARS CoV-2 can be spread through your shoes. While the highest probability of contracting the virus is through close contact with an infected person, a study report published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that shoes could be highly effective carriers of the coronavirus.

During the study, the researchers collected swab samples from the floors, computer mouses, patient masks, trash cans, sickbed handrails, personal protective equipment and air outlets in the intensive care unit (ICU) and a general COVID-19 ward (GW) in a hospital in Wuhan, China.

The results were positive in all the contaminated areas and the virus containment was much higher for floor swab samples, may be due to the gravity and air flow causing most virus droplets to settle on the floor. Additionally, the medical workers would walk around the ward and which is why the shoe soles of the ICU medical workers tested positive for the virus [2].

The study proves that the shoes worn by the medical workers could effectively carry and transmit the virus. Lockdown Extended: Top 10 Points from PM Narendra Modi Speech on April 14.

Another study showed that the bottom and inside of the shoes contain large numbers of bacteria, with an average 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoes and 2,887 units of bacteria on the inside of the shoes [3].

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What Germs Are On Your Shoes?

The bacteria that are present in the shoes include Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia and Serratia ficaria [3].

The reason why shoes are a breeding ground for many bacteria and viruses is that they come in contact with germs and dirt while we are out and then all that gets carried to your home.

Precautions To Protect Yourself From Contracting The Coronavirus

  • Before entering your house remove your shoes.
  • Disinfect your shoes and slippers by washing or wiping them.
  • Wear separate shoes for going outside and inside your home.
  • Shoes which are machine-washable can be washed in the washing machine.