Government and medical guidance on reduction of transmission of Coronavirus advises regular handwashing. This advice is particularly relevant to people with facial palsy who may be touching their face, often in the region of the eye, more often throughout the day. Evidence suggests that one of the transmission routes for spread of covid-19 is from the hand onto mucus membranes of either the mouth or the eye. People with facial palsy are therefore at increased risk of infection via this route if they do any of the following:
- Apply eye drops/ointment
- Wipe the eye when it overwaters
- Use fingers to help lip seal when drinking
- Use fingers to remove food stuck in the cheek when eating
It is advisable to wash the hands thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds, before doing these activities, but of course it is not always practicable to do this, in which case we advise a general increase in hand hygiene throughout the day, and use of a disinfectant spray or wipe in between times when required.