You see bottles of hand sanitizer everywhere. Every doctor's office and hospital has them sitting around. Even if I just washed in the men's room, I still squirt a dollop of the nice smelling goo to make sure I'm protected. So, am I protected? The Purell bottle says the product kills 99.9 % of "illness causing germs". But the company has been claiming it can do more.

The Food and Drug Administration has sent a letter to GoJo, the parent company of Purell, telling them to stop claiming it can help prevent flu and viruses. A portion of the letter says:

FDA is currently not aware of any adequate and well-controlled studies demonstrating that killing or decreasing the number of bacteria or viruses on the skin by a certain magnitude produces a corresponding clinical reduction in infection or disease caused by such bacteria or virus

If you look carefully at a bottle of hand sanitizer, you'll see it is about 70% alcohol which can kill germs but doesn't do much to combat viruses. With the very dangerous Chinese Coronavirus making its way worldwide, I'm sure you want to know what to do to protect yourself. Here's what the US Center for Disease Control says:

There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against human coronavirus infection. You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick

What does kill viruses? There is one chemical that kills EVERYTHING. Chlorine -- as in BLEACH. Of course you cannot put it in your body to kill virus, but you can wipe down stuff that you want to make virus free. Clorox makes chlorine wipes that they say will destroy viruses including the Coronavirus.  The FDA hasn't flagged them, so you might want to pick up some.