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Medical experts: Disposable gloves won't protect you from coronavirus

Medical experts: Disposable gloves won't protect you from coronavirus
Posted at 1:03 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 13:05:12-04

People are looking for ways to avoid getting sick from the coronavirus.

One thing people are wearing while out in public is disposable gloves.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said gloves should only be worn when you're caring for someone who has COVID-19, especially if you are handling their clothes or cleaning surfaces inside the sick person's home.

If you are caring for someone with the coronavirus, CDC said you should wear nonsterile disposable patient examination gloves.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, says he wouldn't recommend wearing gloves during the pandemic.

"This [gloves] isn't something the general public would be wearing," said Dr. Adalja to NBC News. "I don't think they're going to do anything but give people a false sense of security, waste time and create more demand for something that's unnecessary, just like masks."

Dr. Adalja said the only time gloves should be worn in medical settings.

"Latex gloves can rip very easily," said Adalja to NBC News. "They're not designed for going out, running upstairs, doing things in daily life. They're not very durable when it comes to pumping gas or anything ... They're going to get holes. They're not meant to be worn during activities and daily living. Even as a physician, I have my gloves rip all the time."

CDC recommends that each time you do remove your gloves, you should wash your hands each time.

Health experts also say that wearing gloves in grocery stores won't protect you if you are touching various items using those same gloves because it can cause cross-contamination.

"We're seeing a lot of people out in public wearing gloves, which isn't wrong, so to say," said Cleveland Clinic's infectious disease specialist Patricia Dandache, MD. "But unfortunately most people aren't wearing or disposing of their gloves correctly, which defeats the whole purpose."

If you have to wear gloves, it's highly recommended by the CDC that you know how to remove gloves properly to avoid contamination.

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