Nose-picking found to spread COVID among health care workers
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Nose-picking found to spread COVID-19 among health care workers

A majority of respondents admitted to picking their noses regularly, causing a ‘contamination of the work environment’

Another reason to avoid picking your nose is that it raises the risk of contracting COVID, according to a new study from Amsterdam University Medical Centers.

Between March and October 2020, 219 health care workers were tested for COVID antibodies after answering a survey about their habits and physical characteristics.

A total of 185 respondents (85%) admitted to “habitually” picking their noses on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis. An analysis of findings published in the journal PLOS One found that health care workers who avoided the habit were more likely to contract COVID.

Males picked their noses more often than females, and younger respondents picked their noses more often.

Doctors were most likely to pick noses, followed by medical residents, specialists, support staff, and nurses. 

A study found no association between COVID and other behavioral or lifestyle features, such as nail-biting, wearing glasses, or growing a beard.

The nasal cavity is the “main transit port” for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

In their report, they suggest that nose-picking facilitates viral entry by directly introducing virus particles present on the hands to the nose, thus facilitating infection. 

Even before onset of symptoms or in patients who remain asymptomatic, SARS-CoV-2 infection causes high viral loads in the nasal mucosa.

The journal entry warned that COVID-infected health care workers who pick their noses may “contaminate the work environment” – and cause the virus to spread further.