Photos show why you must wash your hands for 20 seconds amid coronavirus fears

It's easy to underestimate the importance of washing your hands properly as we're all urged to do our part in helping to fight against coronavirus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock advised people to sing the 'happy birthday' song twice through as you scrub up with soap and warm water to ensure you are spending at least 20 seconds at the sink.

It's an every day task which we probably take for granted, but a series of photos taken under ultraviolet light show just how effective it can be in defending against unwanted germs.

Actress Kristen Bell shared a series of shocking photos to Instagram , comparing the state of our hands before washing, washing without soap, and washing with soap for 30 seconds.

The images turn the skin from a bright, luminous blue colouring to a dull, more purple appearance under ultraviolet light as the dirt and bacteria are removed.


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The Frozen actress wrote: "My mom sent me the hand washing black light comparison. 30 SECONDS WITH SOAP YALL!!!"

Business Insider says the image was created using Glo-Germ – a solution which clings to germs and makes them visible under UV light, even though our hands might look clean to the naked eye.

Kristen's post has racked up more than 428,000 likes and counting as others were left horrified at the before and after comparisons.

One wrote: "And now I'm going to wash my hands with a 30 second timer lol. Thanks."

A mum replied: "I can only imagine what my 5 year old's hands look like under that thing."

Another advised: "My dad told us as kids: 'if you don't use soap, you're just giving the germs a drink!'"

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK has jumped to 164, as many planned events have been cancelled over fears of spreading the virus.

Yesterday, the NHS confirmed that a man in his early 80s became the second person in the UK to die after testing positive for coronavirus.

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