Coronavirus contact transmission - answering a neglected hazard
Your editor, Fiona Godlee, is right to raise timely issues of concern about the immediate future management of the COVID-19 pandemic , and many reference publications emphasise the need for public awareness of recommended precautions . The World Health Organisation has produced categorised codes of practice , though such advice is not always followed by the authorities . Contact transmission of viruses is well documented , so washing of hands with soap and sanitisation with ethanol are globally recognised as essential.
However, soap can exacerbate contact dermatitis  while ingested ethanol hand rubs have led to alcohol poisoning  and are inflammable . I now propose that wearing cotton gloves would significantly reduce contact transmission . The fabric will prevent viruses from being deposited on surfaces by contaminated hands, and will prevent viruses on handrails, doorknobs and handles from contacting the skin of the wearer. Unlike facemasks, which can admit the passage of leaked air, cotton gloves control manual cross-contamination and, if carefully removed and laundered, could minimise contact transmission of the virus.
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Competing interests: No competing interests