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11Listens: How long should hand sanitizers be used and how long are they effective?

In the midst of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all wondered about the best ways to keep ourselves healthy. One viewer asked about sanitizer.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — In the midst of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve all wondered about the best ways to keep ourselves healthy. One viewer asked about sanitizer and its effectiveness.

If you've ever wondered about that clear gel waiting for you to use at almost every store counter you’ve visited lately, you’re not alone. 

QUESTION: "How often should hand sanitizers be used and how long are they effective?”

Alcohol rub sanitizers kill most bacteria and stop some viruses. If it contains at least 70% alcohol, it can kill 99.9% of the bacteria on hands 30 seconds after application.

In a statement, Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, the Arkansas Health Department’s medical director of immunizations and outbreak said, “Hand washing is preferred to hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should be used whenever hand washing is not feasible. Hand sanitizer kills germs on the hands at the time it is used. It does not provide protection from germs not yet on the hands."

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RELATED: Real-time updates: 11 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Arkansas, 33 total

Dr. Dillaha also said it is possible to contaminate your hands immediately after using hand sanitizer. So, everyone should wash hands or use hand sanitizers often, especially after known contamination, such as like blowing your nose.

You can also temporarily travel with hand sanitizer. 

TSA said on Friday that up to 12-ounce containers of liquid hand sanitizer will be permitted through security until further notice. The standard allowance of liquid is 3.4 ounces, but TSA says the larger hand sanitizer bottles are OK but will need to be screened separately.

RELATED: TSA will let travelers bring larger hand sanitizer bottles in carry-ons

Key facts to know:

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