Rhinotillexis is an underestimated cause of Covid transmission.
Nose picking is an unusual practice that some people do to remove irritating boogers, and others may do so out of habit. However, according to a new study, this habit could put you at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
A team of scientists in the Netherlands undertook the study, which was driven by earlier research that showed healthcare staff who had close contact with Covid patients were also more likely to fall victim to infection.
The findings of this interesting study based on common behavioural patterns were released in the journal Plos One. The data on 219 employees at Amsterdam University Medical Centres was gathered and thoroughly evaluated by professionals.
According to the findings of the study, in total, 219 health care workers completed the survey. The majority of them (totaling 84.5%) reported picking their nose at least incidentally, with frequency varying between monthly, weekly, and daily.
Covid-19 incidence was higher in nose picking workers compared to participants who refrained from nose-picking, adjusted for exposure to Covid-19.
However, no association was observed between nail biting, wearing glasses, or having a beard and the incidence of Covid-19 infection.
The writer of the research mentioned that "It is surprising to observe the extensiveness in which the scientific community (including our own study team) has researched all sorts of Covid-19 transmission routes, risk factors, and protective measures; yet assessing the role of simple behavioural and physical properties has so far been overlooked."
In their study's conclusion, the researchers stated that "Considering guideline recommendations include, e.g., illustrations of appropriate masks for those with facial hair despite the lack of any real-life evidence, nose picking deserves more consideration as a potential health hazard, and explicit recommendations against nose picking should be included in the same Covid-19 infection prevention guidelines."