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Clean hands are critical to reduce the spread of infection, particularly coronavirus (COVID-19).
However, washing with soap and water isn’t always option.
In 1966, nursing student, Lupe Hernandez, realized alcohol in gel form could be an effective way to clean hands when soap and water weren’t available.
She called an inventions hotline to learn about patenting hand sanitizer.
Over 50 years later, Hernandez’s invention is still saving lives against threatening diseases and protecting brave medical professionals.
Hand sanitizer sales and wipes has grown steadily. They expanded beyond hospitals and care homes to supermarkets and personal accessories.
The U.S. market of hand sanitizer was $28 million in 2002.
In 2009, hand sanitizer sales soared in the wake of the H1N1 “swine flu” outbreak.
“And it’s been shown several times that when these superbugs get out, they do tend to grow like never before,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Ron Cutler, The Guardian reports. “People are concerned about that, so you get an increase in the number of people buying hygiene products.”
During the current coronavirus pandemic, grocery stores, pharmacies, and online retailers face high demand for hand sanitizer.
Outages are common. For example, after buying all the hand sanitizer within 1,300 miles and selling on Amazon at a higher price, two brothers in Tennessee faced an investigation by the state attorney general for price gouging.
Hand sanitizers are an important supplemental health habit, but not an alternative to washing hands. Social distancing is the safest way to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Back to Lupe Hernandez. There is little known about her—even if she’s still alive, or is a “she.”
But we want to thank Hernandez for giving the world hand sanitizer!
Learn more about the coronavirus outbreak and its implications concerning health.
Explore More:Healthcare Access, Infection Control
By The Numbers
of healthcare workers should focus on infection control