We want to share with you this article that seems fundamental to understand why maintaining good hygiene is so important, but not just in these turbulent times… always. As we understand that not everyone understands English, and in case the automatic translator of your search engine fails you, we would like to summarize here the most important points highlighted by the Professor of Chemistry at the University of New South Wales, Palli Thordarson.
To better understand why soap is the best way to prevent or get rid of the virus, we must first understand how a virus works. The professor emphasizes then that there are three fundamental elements by which a virus is composed:
RNA = A nucleic acid genome (like the DNA of the virus)
Protein. Which generates a barrier around the virus and helps its development and multiplication within the host’s body.
An outer layer of fatty lipids.
The connection between these three components is what provides the virus structure, however Professor Thordarson points out that this structure is “weak”. Although we cannot understand the survival of the virus in this regard, we must know that the so-called viral self-assembly is based precisely on these weak interactions between proteins, RNA and lipids. These commonly called weak interactions form a virtually unbreakable barrier.
This assembly, which we will call the “viral particle”, can be broken with soap because it contains fatty substances similar to the lipids of the virus.
Here Professor Thordarson explains how soap, in contact with lipids, makes them disconnect from the virus and from the skin; As lipids are removed, so are other weak links that make up the virus. Then, the virus, without connecting these links, crumbles.
However, we have to be very thorough with the correct soaping. Although soap helps to destroy the virus membrane, we must be aware at all times of the adhesion force of the virus. With its irregular shapes and nano-size it can attach itself within any of the small wrinkles of our hands. For this reason it is important not to leave any area without soaping and to maintain the process for a minimum of 20 seconds so that the soap can perform its function.