Home Sweet (COVID-free) Home. What Works, What Doesn’t

Premier Health Now

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You’re trying hard to keep COVID-19 from popping over uninvited this holiday season. But are your efforts making a difference? Premier Health Now asked Roberto Colón, MD, Premier Health vice president of quality and safety and associate chief medical officer at Miami Valley Hospital, for advice about common in-home efforts.

Can Air Purifiers Protect My Home From COVID-19?

Although hospitals use sophisticated air filtration systems to clean the air, Dr. Colón says home air purifiers (like small HEPA filters) are not likely to protect you. “They work by pulling air through a filter to remove particles. But at home we come in contact with the same people over and over. I don’t think a filtration system will help you avoid COVID-19 in that environment. But it’s not going to hurt, either.”

Should I Keep Using Disinfecting Wipes To Kill the Virus?

Sure, says Dr. Colón. But know that all wipes are not the same. “Antibacterial wipes kill bacteria; they don't necessarily have an effect on viruses. Look for isopropyl wipes with about 70% alcohol. And avoid methanol in wipes and hand sanitizer. Methanol can be very dangerous.”

Here’s good news. It’s not necessary to continuously clean every surface in your home. “These are people you’re with every day,” he says. “But out in public, in restaurants, or at work, if you’re around people and you’re not wearing a mask, it's not a bad idea to periodically clean the area around you.” Also get into the habit of using hand sanitizer often.

Are Essential Oils an Effective Disinfectant?

While they smell nice and may make you feel better, “there's no data to demonstrate that essential oils will prevent or cure COVID,” says Dr. Colón. Such oils aren’t intended to be vaped or smoked, he cautions. “And in a vaporizer, they can create significant steam that can get into your respiratory tract and cause inflammation, irritation, and even burns in some cases. So be careful not to get too close.”

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

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Roberto Colón, MD

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