Study: Most searched ‘anti-germ’ item by state

Updated: Mar. 13, 2020 at 9:19 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Upgraded Points, an online information resource that helps travelers to maximize their points and miles, conducted a study to to find the most searched anti-germ item by state amid the spread of coronavirus.

Many people have began stocking up on hand sanitizer, face or surgical masks, antibacterial soap, and other ‘anti-germ’ items, whether or not there is any proof of them stopping the spread of the virus.

Most searched anti-germ item by state
Most searched anti-germ item by state(Upgraded Points)

Stores around the country are seeing shortages of these and other items, leading to many people ordering those items on-line due to shortages in stores.

Doctors healthcare and government officials urge people to wash their hands and thoroughly wipe down frequently used items and surfaces.

Here in the Palmetto State, based on Google shopping search data, the most frequently searched item is hand sanitizer.

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Most searched anti-germ by state
Most searched anti-germ by state(Upgraded Points)

Health officials have stated that masks, specifically, the N95 mask, are for health professionals and those with the virus who are trying to limit its spread.

The World Health Organization recommends using the following methods to reduce the exposure and transmission of coronavirus and other illnesses:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Use a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing and sneezing to cover your mouth. Throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough.
  • Avoid direct contact with live animals and surfaces they may have touched when visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the coronavirus is spread mainly from person-to-person by those in close contact, or through coughing and sneezing by someone who’s infected.

Symptoms of coronavirus can show up between two and 14 days of exposure, health officials say. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. They can be mild to severe, and in some cases can lead to death.

Those who are at the highest risk of catching COVID-19 are the young, the elderly and those who are already being treated for chronic medical diseases.

Doctors say there is not currently a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, but over-the-counter medications, like cold and cough medicines, can help treat symptoms of the virus.

The mortality rate for people with the virus has been widely reported around 2 to 3%, but health experts note the actual percentage is not that high, as not all cases are diagnosed or reported.

The rate is higher than the flu, which kills on average about 0.1% of people who get it, based on a 10-year average of data from the CDC.

Anyone with concerns about their health, or who believes they are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, is urged to call their healthcare provider.

People with general questions about coronavirus should call the DHEC Care Line at 855-472-3432. The line is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week. Callers are urged to be patient as call volumes are high.

MUSC has launched an online platform to aid with coronavirus diagnosis and care. Log onto and access the COVID-19 platform. The service is free with code: COVID19. Prisma Health also offers a variety of health care services through their virtual visit portal.

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