Should you throw out a toothbrush after you have the flu or coronavirus?

Should you throw out a toothbrush after you have the flu or coronavirus?

At this point in the Covid-19 pandemic – which is now competing with the outbreak painMost people already know the best ways to prevent these highly contagious diseases. But if you get one of these two diseases, what do you do with personal items in the house like toothbrush, sheet, pillow case, towels etc?

Once you test positive for these diseases, and even if you don’t show symptoms, you need to make sure you take infection control measures during and after quarantine. The idea is to protect people from their friendship and community. At home, it is a matter of keeping everything clean and sanitary while continuing to do general cleaning after the COVID-19 framework or pain.

But how far does this cleaning go? Do I need to get rid of a toothbrush or other personal items? Understand below.

Basics of influenza viruses and COVID-19

Infection scientist Valdes Roberto Bolilla, professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of the South Pacific, explains that since both diseases are respiratory diseases, they are transmitted through the air, through personal contact, in addition to exposure to saliva droplets and aerosols upon infection. The person is coughing, sneezing, talking, or breathing.

These droplets can also contaminate surfaces, which may be touched by others. In some, such as steel and plastic, the covid-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours in addition to those who suffer from flu 24 to 48 hours indoors. However, factors such as humidity, heat, and temperature can affect this residence time.

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Since these viruses are delicate and can be easily eliminated through good cleaning, especially when cleaning and disinfecting with soap and water (it can also be neutral detergent, 70% ethyl alcohol or 0.5% sodium hypochlorite), keep everything disinfected to prevent infection.

“However, personal contact and transmission by air are still the main means of infection for these diseases,” the doctor explains.

Where to start cleaning after an injury

Whether during or after infection, to enhance the neutralization of these viruses, it is recommended to keep well-ventilated environments always, disinfecting floors, and surfaces such as door handles, bedside tables, bathroom sink, toilet, cell phone, TV remote control or air conditioning. , light switch, tables, refrigerator door and other frequently touched objects. Upholstery and chairs should also be vacuumed.

Sheets, blankets, pillows and bath towels should not be shared and can be washed normally in the washing machine. The person responsible for this task should keep these items away from their face and body and sanitize their hands immediately upon touching them. It’s okay to add other clothes from the house in the same laundry. If the pad is not washable, it should be kept out of use in a well-ventilated place for at least two or three days.

Cooking utensils (plates, cutlery, cups, etc.) should also not be used by others during infection, and after immediate use they should be washed with soap and water or in a dishwasher. It is suggested that only one person perform this work during or immediately after recovery, and that person should wear a mask to enhance protection while handling these items.

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Toothbrush and other oral hygiene supplies

What about personal items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash? There is some scientific evidence that suggests a possible relationship between oral health and the prevention/reduction of influenza infection, as well as its complications. Data are from a recent study conducted by Shinshu University College of Medicine.

On the other hand, it is already known that the covid-19 virus can be present in the oral cavity and scientists already suspect the presence of some local inflammatory processes, such as GingivitisFor example, it can contribute to an exacerbation of the disease.

Given this information, the recommendation is to improve oral hygiene care before, during, and after these illnesses. By the way, oral hygiene items should be separated from the family during an injury, and should never be shared.

Giuliana Bertoldi advises: “Because it is for personal use, you will not need to dispose of it after illness, especially in a country where this kit is too expensive for a large part of the population. In addition, there is no risk of infection again.” Franco, a dental surgeon and member of the hospital’s Dental Technical Room for Crosp’s Special Patients.

In the case of persons who have been hospitalized and have used an oral hygiene kit in this environment, they should be disposed of at the time of discharge. “The danger here is cross-contamination with microorganisms in the hospital,” Franco continues.

With or without illness, it’s always good to remember that your toothbrush should be changed every three months.

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What about the disposables in the bathroom?

Open boxes of tissues, toilet paper rolls, or boxes of masks that were available to whoever owned them pain or covid-19 in a plastic bag and seal it to dispose of in the general trash.

Resources: Giuliana Bertoldi Franco, a dental surgeon at HC-FMUSP (Hospital das Clínicas, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo) and member of the Dental Technical Chamber of the Hospital for Special Patients Crosp (Regional Dental Council of São Paulo) and Valdes Roberto Bolilla, an infectious disease doctor and professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at FMRP-USP (Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo). Medical review: Valdes Robert Bolilla.

references: IFF / Fiocruz (National Institute for the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents Fernandes Figueira); CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention); Kawamoto M, Tanaka H, ​​Sakurai A, Otagiri H, Karasawa I et al. (2021) Exploring the relationship between oral hygiene and the condition and influenza infection. Plus One 16 (8): e0254981. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0254981.

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

"Friendly zombie guru. Avid pop culture scholar. Freelance travel geek. Wannabe troublemaker. Coffee specialist."

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