How to make your own hand sanitizer to help prevent the coronavirus and flu

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Thursday, March 5, 2020
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Fears over coronavirus and flu have sent millions of Americans to the store to buy hand sanitizer. Here's how you can make your own.

RALEIGH -- The coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed 11 lives in the United States, has everyone running to their local drug store to gather the cleanliness essentials: Disinfecting wipes, soap, tissues and hand sanitizer.

Some stores are selling these items so fast, the supply can't keep up with the demand.

Well, you can make your own hand sanitizer, using a few things - the most important of which is isopropyl alcohol and gel. It's inexpensive and doesn't require a ton of effort.

WARNING: Remember that hand sanitizer is not a substitute for properly washing your hands with soap and water. Also the World Health Organization only suggests homemade hand sanitizer for use in areas without clean water or where medical-grade sanitizer products are unavailable.

Several recipes use alcohol and hair gel, alcohol and aloe vera gel or alcohol and a squirt of liquid soap. Note: For hand sanitizer to be effective, it must have at least 60% alcohol content. Also be sure to always keep these products out of the reach of children.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup of 99% rubbing alcohol or ethanol
  • 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel
  • 8 to 10 drops essential oil - such as lavender. Vanilla is optional.

You'll need a bowl, spoon, funnel and a bottle. Just mix the contents together and use the funnel to get the mixture into the bottle.

COVID-19 effects

Coronavirus is more specifically known as COVID-19. It has infected more than 93,000 people globally and has claimed more than 3,000 lives.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 80 confirmed cases in 13 states in America.

The current global mortality rate from the virus is 3.4 percent, but experts said that number will continue to fluctuate (and most likely decrease) as the virus spreads).

Health experts said most people who develop COVID-19 symptoms do not have major complications from the disease.

"Older people, with underlying health conditions, seem to be at higher risk," North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elizabeth Tilson said. "We see that children seem to fare very well. Only about 1 percent of the cases have been identified in children and seem to fare very well."

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