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VERIFY: Are disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer effective against the coronavirus?

If you look at the back of some wipes it says it's effective against coronavirus

SAN DIEGO —

With coronavirus fears still on the rise, you may look to disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizers to keep surfaces clean.

In fact, if you look at the back of some wipes it says it's effective against coronavirus so we're verifying if that's true -- given COVID-19 just appeared a few months ago.

Doctor Abi Olulade at Sharp says “coronavirus” is a generic term. COVID- 19 is a specific genus -- different than what's on the back of wipes.

“While they share similar features, it’s still different enough to cause different illnesses, which can be a mild cold or severe respiratory illness,” said Olulade.

So while it's true disinfecting wipes can protect against coronavirus, it's not saying it will kill COVID-19.

“We don’t know that for certain,” said Olulade. “Nobody can make that claim until we know more about this current virus.”

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Researchers in China say COVID-19 is about 80% similar to the SARS virus, which wipes are effective against. 

However, it will take more research to know for sure. That also brings up the question of hand sanitizers, which also claim they're effective against bacteria and coronavirus.

“It doesn’t hurt to use them,” said Olulade. “The recommendation from the CDC is that you do use it, but we don’t know for certain if it will kill the virus.”

So again it's true sanitizers kill coronavirus, but not necessarily COVID-19.