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Nose Picking Linked to Higher COVID-19 Risk Among Hospital Workers, Study Finds

A new study suggests that hospital workers who pick their noses are more likely to catch COVID-19. Researchers from the Netherlands examined data on COVID-19 infection rates among 219 hospital workers in Amsterdam between March and October 2020. They also conducted a survey about nose picking and other behaviors or physical features that could pose an infection risk. The study found that 16% of participants tested positive for COVID-19 during the study period. Interestingly, 85% of the participants admitted to nose picking, with men and younger people more likely to engage in this habit. Doctors were the staff members most likely to report nose picking, followed by support staff and nurses. The researchers discovered that COVID-19 infections were more common among nose pickers, with 17.3% testing positive compared to 5.9% of those who did not pick their noses. However, the study did not find any association between COVID-19 infection and behaviors such as nail-biting, wearing glasses, or having a beard. The authors of the study recommend that healthcare facilities increase awareness about nose picking among staff through educational sessions and by implementing recommendations against nose picking in infection prevention guidelines.


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