The R value so often discussed with COVID-19 coronavirus relates to virus outside people. It ignores what happens inside people.
To cover both I suggest 2 R values: outer R and inner R.
The outer R value relates to how many people any one infected person infects. The aim is to reduce the outer R with hand sanitisers, social distancing and face coverings.
The inner R value relates to how many lung cells any one infected lung cells infects. The aim should be to reduce the inner R by removing anything which makes it easier for newly produced virus to infect a new cell.
It’s true that becoming infected is relevant so the outer R is essential. However, of far greater relevance is what happens inside the lungs as that determines the death rate.
What are the factors contributing to death? Anything that increase the inner R such as advanced age, obesity and factors that help the virus within the lungs.
Alcohol hand sanitisers are important in reducing the outer R. However alcohol vapour rising from alcohol-treated hands is breathed deep into the lungs. There it reduces the effectiveness of mucus which should be protecting the target cells from virus attack.
When the mucus protection is reduced it’s easier for the virus to infect lung cells.
That means alcohol hand sanitisers both decrease the outer R and increase the inner R. As a result, they increase the amount of new virus particles made. More newly created virus particles become available to infect other cells and be breathed out.
This coronavirus is killed by alcohol sanitiser on hands and helped by alcohol vapour in lungs?
As a consequence, both outer and inner R values need to be considered together.
Using hands sanitisers which do not liberate solvent vapours reduces both the outer R and inner R values. NewGenne Foam Hand Rub is ideal. It passes EN14476 and therefore reduces the outer R value by killing coronavirus on hands. Critically only water rises from hands treated with this product making it irrelevant to the inner R. That hand sanitiser is already used in hospitals around the world protecting against other viruses. Now it’s ideal against this COVID-19 coronavirus.
In conclusion, utilising the outer R value to good effect ended the first COVID-19 peak in the UK. Only time will tell whether ignoring the inner R value will ensure the next peak.
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