The best resistance bands in 2020 (that you can actually buy right now) – CNET

Resistance band workouts have seen a surge in popularity as more and more people have begun to work out from home due to coronavirus shutdowns. With gyms and fitness studios closed, exercisers turned to simple solutions that could keep them fit and healthy at home. 

Resistance bands proved fruitful because they're inexpensive compared to kettlebells and dumbbells, they don't take up much space, they're not loud (perfect for top-floor apartment dwellers) and they're versatile. 

To be truthful, the best resistance bands are any that you can currently find without a 15-week backorder. More than half a year into the pandemic, the workout-from-home craze has turned from a temporary trend to a necessity (Gym? Who's that?) and equipment manufacturers still face an unhealthy supply chain. 

However, you can still find a few great sets of resistance bands online right now. This article lists the best ones you can currently buy without waiting for weeks. Just know that while we'll do our best to keep this updated, prices and availability can change.

Read more: How to get a great workout with a kettlebell

Hyfit

Since everything is smart these days, it should come as no surprise that there's a smart resistance band set available to fitness enthusiasts. I tried out the Hyfit Gear One and was honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed using it. It struck me as slightly gimmicky, but these resistance bands actually work really well. 

The Hyfit Gear One includes a pair of tubal resistance bands, wrist and ankle straps, a wall anchor, a door anchor and a pair of handles. It's truly a use-anywhere set because not only can you anchor the bands to a door or wall, you can use your own body to create resistance. 

Adjusting the bands is super easy, too: Just press the little red adjuster button to shorten or lengthen them. Between the wrist and ankle straps, door and wall anchors and adjustment mechanism, you might never need another set of resistance bands. 

The resistance bands contain sensors that track your repetitions, volume (total weight lifted) and calories burned. When you pair the bands to your phone and download the Hyfit app, this data collects automatically and you can track your workouts with ease.

To me, the smart aspect is just a bonus -- the wearable resistance band concept alone would've been enough to persuade me to buy this. Once I'm able to take a road trip or go camping again, I'm packing my Gear One so I can easily get in a quick workout on the go without having to lug around a 40-pound kettlebell. 

If the set sells out on Amazon, you can always buy directly from the company

BC Strength

If you're looking for a booty band, stop here. Just one of these mini resistance bands from Bret Contreras (known on Instagram as the "Glute Guy") will last you years because of the tight-woven, high-quality construction. Contreras popularized the hip thruster exercise and the concept of glute training and, as a certified strength and conditioning specialist with a PhD in sports science, I trust that his mini resistance bands work. 

I also know that they work because I've been using them for the last seven months and they've been the savior of my glute and hamstring strength throughout the coronavirus pandemic. I've used these mini resistance bands to make several exercises more challenging, including bodyweight squats and hip thrusts, dumbbell deadlifts and kettlebell swings. I've also used them extensively for glute-focused exercises, such as donkey kicks and hip abductions.

You can purchase Bret Contreras Glute Loops in two sizes (small to medium and large to extra large) and in three resistance levels (light, medium and strong, labeled as one, two and three on the bands). I ordered a full set because I wasn't sure what to expect, and I'm glad I did. I've used all six Glute Loops for various exercises and rep schemes. I do tend to use one band more than any of the others, so most people would probably be fine ordering just one Glute Loop.

Rogue

Having frequented many a CrossFit gym, I've used my fair share of Rogue resistance bands (Rogue is the preferred outfitter of functional fitness equipment). Rogue Monster Bands constitute the best of the best in resistance bands. They come in various levels of resistance and they're constructed of thick, durable natural latex rubber. 

The big problem with resistance bands is they wear out significantly over time and, compared to iron or steel weights, they don't last long at all. I've seen these Rogue bands in use for years, firsthand, and they never seem to show signs of wear. 

Rogue has been struggling with its supply chain for the last several months, so if you're interested in the Monster Bands, I'd purchase them while you can. The full sets are out of stock, but you can pick and choose individual bands. 

I would recommend Monster Bands for anyone who wants to use resistance bands to build muscle, because they go up to 200 pounds in resistance -- much higher than the toughest resistance band from most other brands. 

You can also check out the Rogue Echo Bands, which are slightly less expensive than the Monster Bands. They seem slightly less durable but would more than suffice for the average exerciser who works out at home. The Echo Bands were out of stock at the time of writing, but you can sign up to get notified when Rogue stocks back up.

FitCord

These durable resistance bands from FitCord pack a one-two punch when it comes to longevity. Like I mentioned earlier, resistance bands wear out over time. It's just a fact of the product. However, you can maximize the life of your resistance bands by choosing the right kind. 

Made of dipped latex -- the most durable material for resistance bands -- the FitCord X-Over resistance bands feature a scrunched nylon safety sleeve that protects the latex underneath from UV damage and harsh weather. The sleeve also protects you in the case that your band snaps during use, but that's unlikely with a dipped latex resistance band. 

FitCord makes X-Over bands up to 55 pounds in resistance, which is plenty for the average person who wants to work out with resistance bands. 

TheraBand

If you have a latex allergy, working out with resistance bands might seem impossible. The options definitely diminish when you filter with "non-latex," but if you look hard enough, you can find some non-latex resistance bands. 

TheraBand is known for its professional rehabilitation equipment, including resistance bands, kinesiology tape, foam rollers, muscle wraps and stability balls. The non-latex professional set includes three resistance bands providing up to seven pounds of resistance.

As a bonus, this set comes with basic exercise instructions written by a physical therapist, making it a good option for people who aren't sure where to start with resistance bands. 

I wouldn't recommend these TheraBand resistance bands for advanced exercisers looking to use resistance bands for intense workouts or to build muscle. Because these bands are primarily intended for rehabilitation purposes, they provide minimal resistance and are best suited to beginners or people working around injuries.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Prime Day deals on exercise shoes: 40% off Adidas, 35% off New Balance – CNET

Deal

Savings

Price

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET's guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.

Amazon Prime Day is here again, and if the Amazon Halo news from a few weeks ago wasn't enough to prove it, Amazon isn't staying in the minor leagues of health and wellness this year. If you're looking for workout shoes, now's a good time to buy because you can save up to 40% off some of the biggest names in fitness gear -- including Adidas and New Balance.

Start slashing gifts off of your "to-get" list for the fitness enthusiasts in your life with these deals on workout shoes for Amazon Prime Day. 

As a reminder, these deals are only available to Amazon Prime members, who pay $119 per year for the service.

Under Armour

You won't want to miss Under Armour's Amazon Prime Day sale if you're looking for a sport-specific shoe. Today, you can find basketball shoes, baseball shoes, lacrosse shoes and volleyball shoes for up to 35% off. No worries if you don't play sports, though -- Under Armour also has training shoes, running shoes and slide sandals on sale. The HOVR Rise Training Shoe at 35% off is a steal for anyone looking for a new pair of versatile gym shoes.

New Balance

Your dad probably wears New Balance sneaks, but "dad shoes" aren't the only type of shoes New Balance sells. The company actually makes some rather attractive and functional training shoes and running shoes, such as the 520 V6 Running Shoe, which features a wide toe box and a reinforced heel counter for total comfort during your runs.

Adidas

If fashion is just as important to you as function, head over to the Adidas Amazon Prime Day sale for up to 40% off on tons of styles, from running shoes to walking shoes to multifunctional cross-trainers.

Now playing: Watch this: Amazon Prime Day in full swing as Apple shows off next...

1:49

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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The best running shoes for men in 2020 – CNET

Whether you're just starting to run or you've crossed several marathon finish lines, choosing the right running shoes can make or break your performance. The wrong running shoes can strip your toes of their toenails (yes, I'm speaking from personal experience), while the right running shoes can make you feel fast, light on your feet and ready to take over the world. 

The "right" running shoes differ wildly from one person to the next. If you're on the market for a new pair, however, I have a few options to share. Selected from my own experience wearing men's running shoes (I tend to like the styles and colorways better), professional input from a running coach and thousands of online reviews, I present: the best running shoes for men in 2020. Oh, and if you need a mask for your runs, I have recommendations for that, too.

And yes, we also have a list of the best women's running shoes.

Brooks Running

Let me start by saying I'm a Brooks devotee. I've been wearing Brooks running shoes for years and the only other running shoes I'll wear are actually for cross-training (described below). I don't think I'm alone in this, as reviews all over the web brim with adoration for Brooks running shoes. 

The Ghost shoes in particular have garnered their own devoted fan base. The Ghost 13s are the newest version of these long-time favorites. They have a hefty 12mm heel-to-toe drop, which means the heel-end is 12 millimeters taller than the toe-end of the shoe. The Ghost 13s also feature significant arch support and full-foot support for optimal comfort. 

Brooks says the Ghost shoes are intended for road running, but I've taken my Ghosts on plenty of trails and they've performed fantastically -- although they're not waterproof, so I wouldn't take them out to muddy trails. 

Upper mesh keeps the shoes breathable for long runs on hot days, and at 10.1 ounces, they're sturdy but won't weigh you down.

Read more: How to tell if you need to replace your running shoes

Salomon

Salomon has a large selection of great trail running shoes. It's one of the best-known brands in the trail running and hiking communities because of the quality and durability of its shoes. Mollie Millington, personal trainer and running coach, says she's had great success with the Salomon Sense Ride 3. 

These shoes are constructed of tightly knitted mesh and a grippy outer sole, outfitted with Salomon's Quicklace shoelaces, and built with an 8mm heel-to-toe drop for support on the trails or on the road.

As for what to look for in trail running shoes in general, Millington says she prefers hers to be waterproof. "You also need good stability due to varying terrain," she says. "A reinforced toe will protect you from roots and rocks, and deep tread will help you grip the mud."

Read more: How to make running on a treadmill suck way less

NoBull

NoBull is a newer shoe and apparel brand whose target market is CrossFit athletes and the larger functional fitness community. The brand started with Trainers and more recently released its Runners, which come in three styles: mesh, ripstop and knit. 

The Mesh Runners have the smallest heel-to-toe drop of all NoBull Runners (7mm versus the 10mm drop on the knit and ripstop styles). That's still a pretty significant drop, so if you prefer a flatter running shoe, these likely wouldn't be your first choice.

However, the layered mesh upper and flexible midsole give these shoes the perfect blend of mobility, traction and support, making them perfect for cross-training workouts that include running. I say this from the perspective of a CrossFit coach who knows that five rounds of a workout that starts with a 400-meter run can leave your feet and ankles achy if you wear flat training shoes. 

The NoBull Mesh Runners are durable and cushioned enough to get you through sprints, burpees, box jumps and other high-impact movements, but stable enough to support you during squats and other stationary movements -- basically, everyone who cross-trains should take a look at these shoes.

Read more: The best treadmills for 2020

Topo Athletic

"Minimalist shoes are a funny thing," Millington says. "Some people swear by them. People with a forefoot strike are more likely to enjoy minimalist shoes, while heel strikers may experience pain due to the lack of cushioning."

However, minimal shoes have an adjustment period. "If you switch to minimal or barefoot shoes, you need to gradually increase miles to both build up muscles in the foot, which are used to being supported by shoes, and get the legs to be more responsive," she says.

That said, the Topo Athletic ST-3 minimalist running shoes are a good place to start. Reviewers liken the feel of these shoes to running barefoot, but with just enough cushion to avoid rocks and roots from poking at your feet. The shoes have just 16mm of cushion with a zero-millimeter heel-to-toe drop. 

Because these shoes are so flat, they can double as a workout shoe and give you more bang for your buck. 

Hoka One One

There's definitely a difference between minimalist and lightweight running shoes. You can have lightweight shoes that still offer support, stability and cushion, unlike true minimalist shoes that are flat and, well, minimally cushioned. 

The Hoka One One Rincon running shoes have a 5mm heel-to-toe drop and offer ample cushion -- yet they come in at just 7.7 ounces. These running shoes strike the perfect balance between support and speed. Their lightweight feel combined with Hoka's Meta-Rocker design encourages quick cadences.

A consideration: While these shoes are highly rated for comfort, a few reviewers were unhappy with the durability, noting that the shoes wore out after 150 miles or so. If you only run a few miles each week, that's no big deal, but when you hit 150 miles in two months, it becomes a problem. 

Read more: The best earbuds and headphones for running in 2020

On Running

The most important thing to look for in all running shoes, but especially long-distance running shoes, is comfort, Millington says. "Everyone's feet are different, so when the miles are adding up, you need to feel good the whole time," she says. "Definitely test the shoes in the shop on a treadmill if you can."

Millington recommends the On Cloudflyer, a uniquely designed running shoe that uses the spaces between the outsole and midsole. The spaces make the shoes lighter and give them more bounce, which may make them more comfortable for longer runs. 

Reviews on Amazon are mixed, and it seems like people either love or hate these shoes. For a limited time, On is offering an at-home try-on program, where you can try the shoes for 30 days to decide if you like them. Definitely take advantage of this if you're interested in the Cloudflyers. 

Read more: How to run a marathon without leaving your house

How I chose these running shoes

While I haven't tried every item on this list (that would require a lot of running!), I know my way around running shoes pretty well. I've been running for about 10 years now and have worked my way through several pairs of running shoes, from cheap to uber-luxurious. 

Personal experience: I called out which shoes I've tried in the past, and while my experiences informed my research, keep in mind that you probably won't have the same experience with any given shoe that did or didn't work for me. I simply offer my experiences for perspective.

Professional input: I asked certified running coach Mollie Millington of PT Mollie for her input on specific types of running shoes to guide my final selections.

Highly rated: Each pair of running shoes on this top-rated for factors like comfort, support, quality and durability -- everything you should look for in a running shoe. I perused buyer reviews on Amazon, Google and brand websites to choose the running shoes on this list. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

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The best running shoes for men in 2020 – CNET

Whether you're just starting to run or you've crossed several marathon finish lines, choosing the right running shoes can make or break your performance. The wrong running shoes can strip your toes of their toenails (yes, I'm speaking from personal experience), while the right running shoes can make you feel fast, light on your feet and ready to take over the world. 

The "right" running shoes differ wildly from one person to the next. If you're on the market for a new pair, however, I have a few options to share. Selected from my own experience wearing men's running shoes (I tend to like the styles and colorways better), professional input from a running coach and thousands of online reviews, I present: the best running shoes for men in 2020. Oh, and if you need a mask for your runs, I have recommendations for that, too.

And yes, we also have a list of the best women's running shoes.

Brooks Running

Let me start by saying I'm a Brooks devotee. I've been wearing Brooks running shoes for years and the only other running shoes I'll wear are actually for cross-training (described below). I don't think I'm alone in this, as reviews all over the web brim with adoration for Brooks running shoes. 

The Ghost shoes in particular have garnered their own devoted fan base. The Ghost 13s are the newest version of these long-time favorites. They have a hefty 12mm heel-to-toe drop, which means the heel-end is 12 millimeters taller than the toe-end of the shoe. The Ghost 13s also feature significant arch support and full-foot support for optimal comfort. 

Brooks says the Ghost shoes are intended for road running, but I've taken my Ghosts on plenty of trails and they've performed fantastically -- although they're not waterproof, so I wouldn't take them out to muddy trails. 

Upper mesh keeps the shoes breathable for long runs on hot days, and at 10.1 ounces, they're sturdy but won't weigh you down.

Read more: How to tell if you need to replace your running shoes

Salomon

Salomon has a large selection of great trail running shoes. It's one of the best-known brands in the trail running and hiking communities because of the quality and durability of its shoes. Mollie Millington, personal trainer and running coach, says she's had great success with the Salomon Sense Ride 3. 

These shoes are constructed of tightly knitted mesh and a grippy outer sole, outfitted with Salomon's Quicklace shoelaces, and built with an 8mm heel-to-toe drop for support on the trails or on the road.

As for what to look for in trail running shoes in general, Millington says she prefers hers to be waterproof. "You also need good stability due to varying terrain," she says. "A reinforced toe will protect you from roots and rocks, and deep tread will help you grip the mud."

Read more: How to make running on a treadmill suck way less

NoBull

NoBull is a newer shoe and apparel brand whose target market is CrossFit athletes and the larger functional fitness community. The brand started with Trainers and more recently released its Runners, which come in three styles: mesh, ripstop and knit. 

The Mesh Runners have the smallest heel-to-toe drop of all NoBull Runners (7mm versus the 10mm drop on the knit and ripstop styles). That's still a pretty significant drop, so if you prefer a flatter running shoe, these likely wouldn't be your first choice.

However, the layered mesh upper and flexible midsole give these shoes the perfect blend of mobility, traction and support, making them perfect for cross-training workouts that include running. I say this from the perspective of a CrossFit coach who knows that five rounds of a workout that starts with a 400-meter run can leave your feet and ankles achy if you wear flat training shoes. 

The NoBull Mesh Runners are durable and cushioned enough to get you through sprints, burpees, box jumps and other high-impact movements, but stable enough to support you during squats and other stationary movements -- basically, everyone who cross-trains should take a look at these shoes.

Read more: The best treadmills for 2020

Topo Athletic

"Minimalist shoes are a funny thing," Millington says. "Some people swear by them. People with a forefoot strike are more likely to enjoy minimalist shoes, while heel strikers may experience pain due to the lack of cushioning."

However, minimal shoes have an adjustment period. "If you switch to minimal or barefoot shoes, you need to gradually increase miles to both build up muscles in the foot, which are used to being supported by shoes, and get the legs to be more responsive," she says.

That said, the Topo Athletic ST-3 minimalist running shoes are a good place to start. Reviewers liken the feel of these shoes to running barefoot, but with just enough cushion to avoid rocks and roots from poking at your feet. The shoes have just 16mm of cushion with a zero-millimeter heel-to-toe drop. 

Because these shoes are so flat, they can double as a workout shoe and give you more bang for your buck. 

Hoka One One

There's definitely a difference between minimalist and lightweight running shoes. You can have lightweight shoes that still offer support, stability and cushion, unlike true minimalist shoes that are flat and, well, minimally cushioned. 

The Hoka One One Rincon running shoes have a 5mm heel-to-toe drop and offer ample cushion -- yet they come in at just 7.7 ounces. These running shoes strike the perfect balance between support and speed. Their lightweight feel combined with Hoka's Meta-Rocker design encourages quick cadences.

A consideration: While these shoes are highly rated for comfort, a few reviewers were unhappy with the durability, noting that the shoes wore out after 150 miles or so. If you only run a few miles each week, that's no big deal, but when you hit 150 miles in two months, it becomes a problem. 

Read more: The best earbuds and headphones for running in 2020

On Running

The most important thing to look for in all running shoes, but especially long-distance running shoes, is comfort, Millington says. "Everyone's feet are different, so when the miles are adding up, you need to feel good the whole time," she says. "Definitely test the shoes in the shop on a treadmill if you can."

Millington recommends the On Cloudflyer, a uniquely designed running shoe that uses the spaces between the outsole and midsole. The spaces make the shoes lighter and give them more bounce, which may make them more comfortable for longer runs. 

Reviews on Amazon are mixed, and it seems like people either love or hate these shoes. For a limited time, On is offering an at-home try-on program, where you can try the shoes for 30 days to decide if you like them. Definitely take advantage of this if you're interested in the Cloudflyers. 

Read more: How to run a marathon without leaving your house

How I chose these running shoes

While I haven't tried every item on this list (that would require a lot of running!), I know my way around running shoes pretty well. I've been running for about 10 years now and have worked my way through several pairs of running shoes, from cheap to uber-luxurious. 

Personal experience: I called out which shoes I've tried in the past, and while my experiences informed my research, keep in mind that you probably won't have the same experience with any given shoe that did or didn't work for me. I simply offer my experiences for perspective.

Professional input: I asked certified running coach Mollie Millington of PT Mollie for her input on specific types of running shoes to guide my final selections.

Highly rated: Each pair of running shoes on this top-rated for factors like comfort, support, quality and durability -- everything you should look for in a running shoe. I perused buyer reviews on Amazon, Google and brand websites to choose the running shoes on this list. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Where to get the Beyond Burger: TGI Friday’s, Hardee’s, Subway, Dunkin’ and more – CNET

beyond-burger-cross-section

A cross section of a Beyond Meat Burger.

Beyond Meat

It'd be an understatement to say the plant-based food industry is booming. Veggie burgers have come a long way since their humble, crumbly soy and black-bean beginnings, and vegan cheese is on the rise, too.

beyond-burger

P.S. You can also get the Beyond Burger at many grocery stores and cook it yourself.

Beyond Meat

Beyond Meat, the company behind the popular Beyond Burger, shows no signs of slowing down: The company recently partnered with a meal kit company and expects to sell a lot more patties this year.

Read more: The best way to cook a Beyond Meat burger at home 

Wondering where you can get your hands on the coveted Beyond Burger in the US?

As of August 2020, you can shop a variety of Beyond Meat products online with the company's new e-commerce experience. The new direct-to-consumer platform offers the following Beyond Meat products: 

  • Burgers & Beef Combo Pack: A carton of 10 Beyond Burger patties and two one-pound packages of Beyond Beef ($54.99) 
  • Brats & Beef Combo Pack: A carton of 10 Beyond Sausage Original Brat links and two one-pound packages of Beyond Beef ($59.99) 
  • Beef Bulk PackSix one-pound packages of Beyond Beef ($71.99) 
  • Breakfast Sausage Variety PackOne 22-count carton of Classic Beyond Breakfast Sausage and one 22-count carton of Spicy Beyond Breakfast Sausage ($54.99) 
  • Go Beyond Trial PackOne package of Beyond Burgers (two 4-ounce patties), one package of Beyond Beef (one pound) one package of Beyond Sausage Original Brat (four links) and one package of Classic Beyond Breakfast Sausage (six patties) ($49.99) 
  • Cookout Classic (Limited Edition): Two 10-count cartons of Cookout Classic burgers, available while supplies last ($54.99)

You can also find Beyond Meat at these national and regional chains

Want to get your hands on the Impossible Burger instead? Find it at these 12 chain restaurants and order one of these 9 drool-worthy versions.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Coronavirus pandemic 7 months later: Everything we know right now – CNET

sarscov2b

This scanning electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 shows the coronavirus with a backdrop of cells in pink and blue.

NIAID-RML
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

It's hard to believe we've been living in our weird, scary, coronavirus-ridden world for seven months now. CNET first covered the novel coronavirus in December 2019, when it was still a "mystery virus." By January 2020, the US cases hadn't even topped 10 people total, and the experts were telling everyone not to worry. 

Oh, how quickly that changed. It seems like in an instant, US cases skyrocketed, lockdowns were enforced, travel restrictions abounded, Zoom's worth shot through the roof and the entire world shifted into a quasi-online version of what we used to know, complete with too much anxiety and too many "what ifs?" And, seven months later, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus.

No one can blame anyone for their nonchalant attitudes during the early days of the pandemic: The virus just seemed so far away and insignificant, and the US has a tendency to collectively say, "That'll never happen to me."  

There was a light at the end of the tunnel in May and June 2020, when many states started to loosen stay-at-home orders and other restrictions. That feels like false hope now that US cases are once again on the rise.

Throughout all of this, some corners of the internet have managed to keep hope and positivity alive with memes and solidarity. And, though the novel coronavirus is still largely a mystery, we do have much more information than we did six months ago. Here's what we've learned to date. 

Now playing: Watch this: Next stimulus checks: What to expect

3:03

How does coronavirus spread? 

The coronavirus spreads primarily through respiratory droplets, so the main way people transmit the virus is through coughing, sneezing, talking, singing, yawning and breathing around other people. This can even happen when people don't show any symptoms

Coronavirus can also spread when people touch surfaces, such as doorknobs and hand rails, that have the virus on them. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say this isn't the main way that the novel coronavirus spreads. 

How does coronavirus compare to the flu? 

Though some people who become infected with the novel coronavirus have flu-like symptoms, COVID-19 is not the same as the flu. Although both conditions are a respiratory disease, COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus, while the flu is caused by influenza virus, and the two viruses have different transmission patterns and mortality rates

If you start having flu-like symptoms, it's important to seek testing immediately and isolate yourself from other members of your household, because it's hard to tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19 based on symptoms alone.

gettyimages-1204066779

Many things about the coronavirus are still a mystery. 

Getty/Kena Betancur

How can you protect yourself from coronavirus?

To best protect yourself and others from COVID-19, practice exceptional personal hygiene and follow national and local public health guidelines. According to current CDC guidelines, the most important actions to take include:

  • Washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds or longer
  • Using hand sanitizer when soap and water aren't available
  • Wearing a mask when you leave your house 
  • Physically distance yourself from everyone, but especially people who are sick
  • Avoiding discretionary travel 
  • Avoiding large gatherings

What happens if you get coronavirus? 

If you think you have COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should isolate yourself right away. To prevent the virus from spreading further, avoid contact with others until you're completely free of symptoms. 

Self-quarantine is a good time to call everyone you'd been in contact with over the last few weeks to let them know that you're sick. It's also a good idea for those people to self-isolate just in case they're in the pre-symptomatic phase of the virus or a totally asymptomatic carrier

Monitor your symptoms. If they're mild, stay home and take care of yourself. Stay in touch with your doctor and report any changes in symptoms or severity. If you start to feel like you can't breathe, can't stay awake or experience other emergency warning signs, seek medical treatment right away. 

What is it like to have coronavirus? 

Part of what's so weird and scary about the coronavirus is that symptoms seem to be different in everyone. First, the major symptoms were coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Then, people started reporting loss of taste and smell, digestive upset, headaches and more.

For some people who have had COVID-19 and recovered, it's like coming back from the common cold. Others, however, have had cases that leave them with extreme fatigue for months, among a host of other intense symptoms.

How can you get tested for coronavirus? 

It's much easier to get tested for coronavirus now than it was in the early days of the pandemic. When hospitals were overflowing and testing kits were scarce, you couldn't get tested for COVID-19 unless you had a fever or several other symptoms. The exact criteria differed by testing site

Now, most people can easily get a coronavirus test. Some states and counties still have restrictions, but for the most part, if you show up to a testing site, you'll get tested -- although you might have to wait in a line. 

You can also look into at-home coronavirus tests, but things get a bit more nuanced (and expensive) there. What we know so far is the Food and Drug Administration emergency-approved Pixel by LabCorp on April 21, as well as Rutgers University's RUCDR Infinite Biologics biorepository on April 13.

coronavirus-testing-hayward-ca-medical-doctors-hospital-5766

A coronavirus testing tent.

James Martin/CNET

Is it free to get tested for coronavirus? 

Thanks to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, actual testing for COVID-19 should be covered by your insurance. However, you may have to pay for other costs, such as care or treatment after a diagnosis. 

What is the coronavirus test like? 

The main method of coronavirus testing is nasal swabbing. During these tests, a nurse or doctor inserts a swab about six inches long into one of your nostrils. It looks like an extra-long Q-tip. The swab reaches the back of your nasal cavity, where your nurse or doctor spins the swab around. Your provider might swab the other nostril to make sure they have an adequate sample. 

Some testing sites also use saliva testing and cheek swabs now, which are better tolerated by most people. Saliva testing involves spitting into a tube, and cheek swabs are similar to nasal swabs, except the sample is taken from the inside of your cheek. 

Antibody testing, which aims to find out if you've already had the virus, requires a blood sample. 

When will we have a coronavirus vaccine? 

Several potential coronavirus vaccines are beginning to enter Phase 3 clinical trials, which means they're ready to be tested in hundreds of thousands of people. This is good news, because it means the potential vaccinations don't cause any immediate adverse effects.

Still, a vaccine is realistically months away, or even more than a year away. Once a vaccine is approved, it could still take months for it to become available to everyone in the US. 

How can you sign up for a coronavirus vaccine trial? 

You can sign up to volunteer for a coronavirus vaccine trial by visiting the Coronavirus Prevention Network and submitting your information through a survey. If researchers determine you are eligible for a trial, you'll be contacted by a study coordinator. 

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 A COVID-19 vaccine is in the works. 

Javier Zayas Photography/Getty Images

And then there's everything we don't know… 

Despite all of the facts we have now, there's much to be discovered about COVID-19, such as whether or not you can become immune to the virus; how it affects children; how or if countries can achieve herd immunity; how the virus is most effectively treated; and, perhaps most troubling, how long COVID-19 will be around and -- if it ever disappears -- whether it can come back for another round. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Can people who are asymptomatic spread coronavirus? What we know right now – CNET

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Knowing that asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 can spread the virus, wearing masks is more important than ever.

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For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

The World Health Organization incited backlash from public health officials during a news conference on June 8 when Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's technical lead for the COVID-19 response, said it's "very rare" for asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 to spread the virus. The statement came after Kerhove said that in countries tracking asymptomatic cases, they are "following contacts and they're not finding secondary transmission onward."

A day later, the WHO backtracked and clarified the statement, with Kerkhove noting that the WHO "actually doesn't have that answer yet," regarding if -- and how often -- asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 spread the virus.

Now, many people are confused about whether or not asymptomatic carriers can spread COVID-19 -- but the question isn't really about that. It's safe to assume that asymptomatic carriers can spread the disease, based on early and ongoing studies about the nature of COVID-19. 

The bigger question is about how contagious these cases really are -- especially now that the US is seeing a massive surge in cases after lockdown restrictions loosened.

Remember that information about the novel coronavirus changes rapidly: We are presented with new facts every day. This article discusses the concept of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases at the time of writing, and we'll update this story as more information becomes available. 

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What it means to be an asymptomatic carrier 

If you're an asymptomatic carrier of a disease, it means you have the disease but don't show any symptoms

In the case of COVID-19, this can be a serious threat because of the way this virus spreads: People who are unaware that they have the virus may not stay home or take precautions, such as wearing a mask or staying six feet apart from others, when they leave their homes

There's a lot of confusion about what "asymptomatic" really means -- part of that comes from a lack of data about asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers, but a large part of that stems from the many different uses of the word "asymptomatic." 

People can contract the novel coronavirus and be truly asymptomatic -- meaning the virus infects them and runs its course without ever producing symptoms. 

Then there are people who are "presymptomatic," which refers to the time period between infection and appearance of symptoms. With many viruses, people are contagious during presymptomatic phases, and we know this to be true about COVID-19

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Whole Foods, June 2020. Reopening phases have spurred stores to take extra precautions, such as limiting cash payments.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Someone may be presymptomatic for several days, and if that person wasn't self-isolating during the presymptomatic phase (which, naturally, isn't top-of-mind), they could have passed the virus onto everyone they came into close contact with. 

Finally, there are mild cases of COVID-19, in which an infected person might show acute symptoms, such as a light cough, some mild body aches or other symptoms typical of the common cold. These people may never know they have COVID-19 because their symptoms aren't severe enough to warrant a test, thus they never receive a diagnosis. 

People with mild cases may not feel sick enough to stay home from work or avoid running errands. After all, life doesn't stop for a common cold -- pre-pandemic, it was pretty common to go about your daily obligations despite a mild cold, and many people still operate with that mindset. 

"Asymptomatic" has been used to describe all of the above scenarios, which doesn't help the case for figuring out whether asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 is significant or not.

Can asymptomatic people spread COVID-19? 

Generally, asymptomatic people can spread the disease they have. This is thought to be true for the novel coronavirus, too, although officials don't yet know how common the spread of COVID-19 by asymptomatic carriers is. 

Studies have shown that people can be contagious in the first several days of having the virus, before they show symptoms. One study actually estimated that more than 40% of novel coronavirus cases were transmitted in the presymptomatic phase. And, in a study that analyzed samples from sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, about 20% of infected people reported that they never developed symptoms. 

A survey from the CDC reports that 54% of people who tested positive for COVID-19 couldn't recall how they got it. The remaining 46% of respondents who tested positive reported that they had close contact with someone who was sick, such as a family member, before they developed the disease. 

This indicates that the majority of people could have contracted COVID-19 from an asymptomatic person they'd been in close contact with, or from a symptomatic passer-by, such as someone who coughed near you at the grocery store. 

The report concludes by saying this ambiguity "underscores the need for isolation of infected persons, contact tracing and testing during ongoing community transmission, and prevention measures including social distancing and use of cloth face coverings."

So, it's clear that people can contract the disease but remain symptomless. It's also clear that people who do develop symptoms could potentially spread the virus before they knew they had it.

How many people with coronavirus are asymptomatic?

Estimates as to the percentage of asymptomatic coronavirus cases vary widely. Experts have estimated that anywhere from 25% to 80% of people with COVID-19 never develop symptoms. Here's a look at some of the research surrounding asymptomatic COVID-19:

  • As early as January 2020, researchers noted that presymptomatic transmission can likely explain secondary cases of COVID-19.
  • In April 2020, researchers suggested that the virus is most contagious before or at the onset of symptoms.
  • A May 27 study in the Journal of American Medicine reported that more than 40% of study participants who tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic. 
  • Another study found that 104 of 128 (81%) positive cases on a cruise ship showed no symptoms. 
  • In New Orleans, Louisiana, a study conducted by a hospital system in the city found that 75% of infectious people were asymptomatic.

Why are these findings important? 

If people have COVID-19 and don't know it, it's unlikely they'll take maximum precautions to prevent themselves from spreading the virus. 

Some officials have voiced concern that the WHO's initial statement that asymptomatic spread is "very rare" discouraged mask-wearing and social distancing, which could significantly worsen the spread of COVID-19 if asymptomatic people can readily transmit the virus. This is why many experts argue that it's sensible to assume asymptomatic spread is a threat. 

How does COVID-19 spread? 

As a quick reminder, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the illness COVID-19, spreads through respiratory droplets, such as saliva and mucus. This means it primarily spreads when people who have the virus cough, sneeze and talk in the presence of other people. Direct contact with people who are sick also spreads the virus.

It's also possible the COVID-19 can spread when people touch surfaces that have the SARS-CoV-2 virus on them, although the CDC says this isn't thought to be the main mode of transmission. 

According to the CDC, RNA from the virus has been detected in other bodily fluids and byproducts, such as blood and stool, but experts do not yet know if COVID-19 can spread through these substances. 

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to practice good personal hygiene (e.g. wash your hands often), stay home when you can (and definitely when you're sick), wear a face covering when you go out, and avoid contact with others who are sick. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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The coronavirus is mutating, but you shouldn’t freak out about it – CNET

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All viruses mutate, and that's not always a bad thing.

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For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Viruses mutate. That's a thing they do, and it happens all the time. In some cases, viral mutations can be bad: They can cause an already-malignant virus to become worse, more contagious or more deadly. In many cases, however, viral mutations are rather benign. They don't change much about the virus or the way it spreads. 

The novel coronavirus -- aka SARS-CoV-2 (the actual name of the virus) and COVID-19 (the name of the disease) -- has started to mutate, and people everywhere (OK, on Twitter) are freaking out. 

Dr. Heidi J. Zapata, a Yale Medicine infectious disease specialist and immunologist, says there simply is not enough conclusive evidence to justify a mass panic about the novel coronavirus becoming more infectious or more deadly.

"Currently, we do not have sufficient evidence to come to any conclusions about the virus becoming more malicious or benign," Dr. Zapata says. "We simply know that certain variants have become more prominent, such as the D614G strain. However, currently, our evidence about D614G shows that it is not causing different clinical outcomes in humans."

In this article, learn what viral mutation really means, and why it's not worth panicking about the current status of the COVID-19 mutation. 

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How do viruses mutate? 

Viruses mutate when something about their genetic code changes, Dr. Zapata says. 

For example, a change in human DNA would result in a human mutation, she explains, and in the case of the virus SARs-COV-2, a change in the RNA results in a viral mutation. 

"Our code is determined by changes in the building blocks of our genetic code, and a change in one of the letters or code may cause a change in the organism," Dr. Zapata says. "More specifically, the coronavirus is made up of RNA, [which] is made up of nucleotides, the building blocks of both RNA and DNA."

These nucleotides provide the code for amino acids that make up the viral protein. Any change in code that resulted in a different amino acid would result in a real change, or a mutation.

There are also "silent mutations," which happen when something about a virus changes, but that change doesn't alter the way the virus works, Dr. Zapata says. 

"Most changes in viral genetic code or the nucleotides do not result in noticeable changes," she explains. "We call these changes silent mutations, in that the amino acids or protein do not change." 

"Mutations can make a virus more lethal or contagious," Dr. Zapata says. "We just don't have evidence of that yet with the SARs-CoV-2 virus."

Is the coronavirus mutating?

Yes, the novel coronavirus is mutating, but it's mutating rather slowly, Dr. Zapata says. 

Data shows that the coronavirus "has shown to be a bit slow when it comes to accumulating mutations," she says. "Coronaviruses are interesting in that they carry a protein that 'proofreads' [their] genetic code, thus making mutations less likely compared to viruses that do not carry these proofreading proteins."

The flu, for example, does not carry a proofreading enzyme, Dr. Zapata says, so it's more prone to mutations than coronaviruses are. "The flu virus can undergo what we call antigenic drift, which is where a strain of virus slowly accumulates viral mutation during a season," she says.  "It can also undergo rearrangement of genetic code that leads to large changes called antigenic shift."

So, yes, although coronaviruses can undergo mutations, it happens at a much slower pace than what's seen with other common viruses, including influenza virus.

Do all viruses mutate? 

In a scientific editorial in the journal Nature, the authors open up with a poignant paragraph that pretty much sums up the mutation thing: 

"Mutation. The word naturally conjures fears of unexpected and freakish changes. Ill-informed discussions of mutations thrive during virus outbreaks, including the ongoing spread of SARS-CoV-2. In reality, mutations are a natural part of the virus life cycle and rarely impact outbreaks dramatically."

"...Mutation is a humdrum aspect of life for an RNA virus," the paper continues later, going on to point out various fear-mongering and unsubstantiated claims about virus mutations from previous disease outbreaks, including the 2018 Zika virus outbreak and the 2002-2003 SARS-CoV epidemic

Because of the dramatization of the word "mutation," it's natural to become frightened at the thought of the already-deadly COVID-19 disease becoming even more lethal. However, all viruses mutate; it's what they do, and it's not always a big deal. 

Is the coronavirus becoming more infectious?

The internet has once again done its thing, taking wishy-washy inferences from scientific papers and news coverage about COVID-19 and mutations to social media, sharing false or overblown information

Here's what happened: A paper was released in the scientific journal Cell on July 2, 2020 (full PDF), and it provided solid evidence that the coronavirus is indeed mutating, and that a specific strain of the virus -- the D614G strain -- seems to be more infectious than the original strain. 

The D614G mutation caused a change to the coronavirus's "spike protein," which is an important protein that allows the virus to enter the human body and bind to human cells.   

What people have failed to gather, however, was that the conclusion is based on in vitro (test tube) data based on field observations. Researchers noticed a prevalent pattern in the transmission of the virus: The D614G strain had become the prominent strain almost everywhere in the world, even in regional or local epidemics that began with the original strain. 

After that pattern became strikingly clear, researchers attempted to replicate it in the lab. Sure enough, the D614G strain became the dominant strain of the novel coronavirus in lab tests, too. 

Shortly after the paper was published, headlines like "New, more infectious strain of COVID-19 now dominates" went viral (too soon?) on social media, sparking the ensuing frenzy. 

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Google search results that look like this don't exactly help people understand that viral mutations usually aren't anything to panic over.

Screenshot by Amanda Capritto/CNET

But, it's too soon to accept the study's findings to mean that the novel coronavirus is suddenly more dangerous, Dr. Zapata says. 

The recent literature "calls to attention the mutation D614G, which is a change in the genetic code of the spike protein that has become a dominant strain around the world, Dr. Zapata says.  "The spike protein is important because it is the viral component that binds to human cells.  However, the question of whether this mutation has made the virus more transmissible or infectious is still unanswered."

So far, Dr. Zapata says, we know that patients who had the D614G variant of the novel coronavirus had higher levels of RNA in their bodies, but -- and this part is critical -- when clinical outcomes were compared to other patients that did not have the variant, no differences were noted. 

A "short communication" from a few scientists in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases suggests that the D614G mutation "may be more virulent," but call out that their own evidence is "circumstantial" and the link is "unclear."

Another short communication in the journal Infection, Genetics and Evolution reports that the mutations are "of significance" and should be investigated further. It's probably safe to assume that investigations are ongoing. 

Even if the novel coronavirus does mutate into a more infectious, more deadly virus, prevention measures remain the same: Wash your hands, wear your mask, stay six feet apart from other people, avoid contact with sick people, stay home when you feel sick, and avoid unnecessary travel domestically and internationally. 

You can also still take personal measures to keep yourself healthier, thus safer. Optimize your immune system by prioritizing sleep, limiting alcohol, consuming enough essential nutrients (particularly vitamin C and vitamin D), staying hydrated and exercising.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Lululemon sale: The best items to buy during this rare online sale – CNET

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Lululemon sale? Lululemon sale! Shout it from the rooftops, because those two words don't come together often. Everyone's favorite place to buy activewear that makes their wallets wince is having a massive online-only sale from now through July 13. 

Throughout the five days, Lululemon will mark down various items on its online storefront up to 50% and beyond. Markdowns will go up daily, and the sale will include items from all categories. 

Because we're in the same boat as most people (love Lulu, hate how much it costs to buy it), the two of us decided to round up some of our favorite products that we think are worth snagging during this Lululemon sale.

Lululemon

You heard it here first: Fanny packs will once again take the throne for the trendiest and most convenient way to cart around your stuff. Get this sleek Lululemon fanny pack for $19 while you can, because will you really pay $68 for it?

-Amanda

Lululemon

I have one Lululemon sports bra, and I actually hate to say it's my favorite sports bra of all time. It's one of those instances when you hate that "you get what you pay for" rings true. Anyway, it's worth buying the Up For It Bra during the Lululemon sale because at $29, it matches the price of any sports bra you might find at, say, a Target -- except it's Lululemon and now you get to say you own a Lululemon bra. 

-Amanda 

Lululemon

There's no better time than now to get Lululemon's Active Jacket. Unless, of course, you're cool with paying $128 for it -- or you could just man your computer and get it for nearly 40% off during the Lululemon five-day sale. 

The Active Jacket is lightweight and designed for running. With DWR (durable water repellent) treated fabric, this jacket intends to protect you from the elements during outdoor exercise, such as running or hiking. 

-Amanda 

Lululemon

I love a good layering long-sleeve top, even in warmer temps. This long-sleeve from Lululemon is made with "anti-stink" technology, which is a must if you like to layer while running outside or even throw it on post-workout. I love the thumb-holes feature, a must for colder weather when you want to layer the top under a coat or jacket and keep your hands warm.

-Mercey 

Lululemon

I must be honest: I would never pay nearly $130 for a pair of leggings, not even Lululemon leggings. But, I might pay $79 for a really, really good pair of high-rise tights (I don't mess with low- or even midrise tights). These leggings might actually be worth it because of the breathable mesh fabric, high-rise waistline, 28-inch inseam (full-length!), phone pocket and drawstring. 

-Amanda

Lululemon

Seven-eighth-length tights are a lifesaver if you're under 5 feet, 5 inches (like me -- I'm 5 foot 1). I hate when leggings bunch around my ankles because they're so long or fit awkwardly on my shorter legs. Enter 7/8 leggings to save the day, like this pair in the super-sweat wicking Everlux fabric. I almost never purchase regular full-length tights now -- only 7/8 since they fit like "regular" length leggings on me. I have a pair of 7/8 Lulu tights and they are the perfect length for me (they actually hit right at my ankles). 

-Mercey

Lululemon

I love a good flowy workout tank -- I just can't bring myself to work out in anything form-fitting. The armpits have to be free, you know? I like the Train to Be Tank because it's hemmed to sit just above the hips. I have an abnormally short torso, so shirts like this actually fit me perfectly, whereas normal length shirts fall too low. Plus, this Lululemon tank is also seamless, which makes it extra stretchy and soft. 

-Amanda

Lululemon

WFH uniform need a refresh? While there's nothing wrong with rocking leggings or sweatpants 24/7 right now, if you need an upgrade, these pants fit the bill. They look sleek and sophisticated and if you cover up the elastic waistband and drawstring with your top no one will know they're actually activewear. These are perfect for travel (whenever we can do that again) since the fabric is wrinkle-free. If you usually travel a lot for work, these are a great investment since they can easily take you from the airport straight to a meeting. 

-Mercey

Lululemon

These days, a belt bag is a must when it comes to storing your essentials and staying as hands-free as possible when in public. And besides -- belt bags (aka fanny packs) have been having a moment for a while. Now it truly makes sense to grab one so you can walk, grocery shop or pick up takeout with a cute bag that can fit your wallet, hand sanitizer and phone. I love this sunny lemon color and if you're not sold on fanny packs yet, you can even wear the bag on your shoulder or as a crossbody. 

-Mercey

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Toxic hand sanitizer: FDA warns consumers to avoid 9 brands – CNET

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The FDA says nine brands of hand sanitizer may contain methanol and pose toxic health risks.

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For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

The Food and Drug Administration released a warning statement on June 19 saying consumers should not buy hand sanitizer products from the Mexico-based manufacturer Eskbiochem. The warning comes after the FDA discovered methanol, or wood alcohol, in these products. Methanol can be dangerous when ingested or absorbed through the skin, and it can be fatal in large quantities. 

"Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects," the FDA cautions in its letter. 

The demand for hand sanitizers is still high as the coronavirus pandemic resurges, which makes the recent health warning even more jarring. Many people can't find their usual hand sanitizer online or in stores, so they turn to new brands that may or may not have manufactured hand sanitizer before the coronavirus pandemic. 

Eskbiochem manufactures several brands of hand sanitizer: 

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer 
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol 
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer 
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer 
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol 
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol 
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol 
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer

The FDA encourages consumers not to buy the above brands of hand sanitizer after FDA testing revealed high methanol concentrations in two Eskbiochem hand sanitizer products, Lavar Gel and CleanCare No Germ.

Lavar Gel contains more than 80% methanol and no ethyl alcohol, which is the main FDA-approved ingredient for use in hand sanitizers. CleanCare No Germ contains nearly 30% methanol, the FDA found. As of June 23, the FDA reports no cases of harmful health effects associated with the Eskbiochem hand sanitizers, but urges caution nonetheless.

If you have used a hand sanitizer with methanol in the last few months, throw it out. The FDA advises that you seek medical treatment immediately if you've been exposed to methanol, because intervention is required to reverse the toxic effects of methanol poisoning. 

Everyone exposed to methanol is at risk for methanol poisoning, but young children are especially susceptible, the FDA says. 

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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