Biting nails could put you at risk of catching coronavirus, specialist warns

As coronavirus continues to spread, people are being advised to take precautions.

Yesterday a woman in her 70s became the first person to die from coronavirus in the UK. And currently 110 people are confirmed to have caught the killer bug.

The NHS says the best method to stop the spread is washing hands for 20 seconds, or the time it takes to sing happy birthday twice.

If water and soap isn’t available hand sanitiser can be used.

Now an allergy and infectious diseases specialist has issued a warning to nail biters.

Puri Tarikh, an allergy and infectious disease specialist with New York University’s Langone Medical Center, is discouraging people to touch their faces in general.

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But she has also advised that all kinds of “bacteria, viruses, dirt and debris” can collect under the nails.

This is especially the case if you aren’t washing your hands or sanitising them properly.

These germs can be transferred into your mouth when you bite your nails, increasing the risk of catching coronavirus.

The specialist told The Cut: “Every time you touch your face – especially your mouth, nose and eyes – you’re transferring all of those germs. And you can get sick.”

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She also added that germs that go directly into your mouth is “the easiest way you can contract any infection”.

But habits such as biting your nails are difficult to break, even if you know it isn’t hygienic or healthy.

One of the biggest reasons for this is because most people aren’t aware they are doing it.

Catching a virus isn’t the only danger with biting your nails.

There are a few different ways of breaking the habit.

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Healthline recommends keeping your nails short and getting a manicure.

Alternatively, you can use a bitter-flavoured varnish to help you kick the habit.

Healthline says: “For some people, nail biting may be a sign of a more serious psychological or emotional issue.

“Behaviour therapy is another option that can help you.

“At your appointment, you can discuss your nail-biting habit with your doctor and ask for a referral to a therapist.”

  • NHS
  • Coronavirus

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