Explainer: How soap destroys COVID-19 coronavirus

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RESTRICTIONS: Broadcast: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN Digital: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN
Washing your hands thoroughly with soap is one of the most effective ways to eliminate SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from your skin, according to Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control.

As detailed in a report in the New York Times, soap molecules have a hydrophilic head which is attracted to water and a hydrophobic tail that seeks to bond with lipids such as oils and fats.

Coronaviruses are enveloped RNA viruses. Their key components are RNA, the virus' genetic material; proteins that allow the virus to infect cells; and a lipid envelope that coats the virus. This lipid membrane has two rings of hydrophilic heads surrounding two layers of hydrophobic tails.

Soap molecules destabilize a coronavirus because their hydrophobic tails are attracted to lipids in the virus' lipid bilayer. The soap molecules stick to lipids in the bilayer and pry them apart, encapsulating them in bubbles called micelles that wash away in the lather.

In addition to disrupting the lipid membrane of the virus, soap molecules also disrupt the bonds that hold the proteins, lipids and viral RNA together. They effectively pull the virus apart, and the viral particles are rinsed away in water.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Soap molecule with hydrophilic head and hydrophobic tail
2. RNA, proteins and lipids are main components of SARS-CoV-2 and other enveloped RNA viruses
3. Soap molecules destabilize a coronavirus' lipid bilayer
4. Soap molecules pull the virus apart

VOICEOVER (in English):
"Soap molecules have a hydrophilic head which is attracted to water and a hydrophobic tail that seeks to bond with lipids such as oils and fats."

"Coronaviruses are enveloped RNA viruses. Their key components are RNA, the virus' genetic material; proteins that allow the virus to infect cells; and a lipid envelope that coats the virus. This lipid membrane has two rings of hydrophilic heads surrounding two layers of hydrophobic tails."

"Soap molecules destabilize a coronavirus because their hydrophobic tails are attracted to lipids in the virus' lipid bilayer. The soap molecules stick to lipids in the bilayer and pry them apart, encapsulating them in bubbles called micelles that wash away in the lather."

"In addition to disrupting the lipid membrane of the virus, soap molecules also disrupt the bonds that hold the proteins, lipids and viral RNA together. They effectively pull the virus apart, and the viral particles are rinsed away in water."

SOURCES: Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, New York Times, Smithsonian, Clinical Infectious Diseases
https://www.cdc.gov.tw/File/Get/HAvRHGs_EjKeROHYmzWm5w
https://www.cdc.gov.tw/En/Category/ListContent/bg0g_VU_Ysrgkes_KRUDgQ?uaid=0nAzwpXdBNIAPOvJhwrGoQ
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/health/soap-coronavirus-handwashing-germs.html?auth=login-google
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-washing-your-hands-so-important-anyway-180974355/
https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/48/3/285/304169