Picking Nose
Courtesy: Coventry Telegraph

Picking Nose Isn't Just Gross, But It's Dangerous: Here's Why

December 29, 2020

Have you ever come across someone while he/she is picking nose? What has been your first reaction- "Eeww! That's gross, that's filthy!"

But even though we may exclaim it has gross and filthy, however, picking nose is one of the commonest things that almost 100 per cent humans do at some point in their life.

When we were young, we were taught that picking the nose is not just gross but it was also unsanitary.

And whenever we see some celebrity being photographed while picking nose, we can't stop ourselves from roaring into a burst of laughter.

On a serious note, picking nose isn't funny but it is hazardous.

By picking one's nose, apart from spreading his/her own bacteria and viruses onto everything one touches, but the person also transfer germs from the fingertips into the nose.

This, hence, can spread coronavirus to others from after a small session of nose-picking.

Not just coronavirus, but the act can also transmit or take in other viruses like influenza or rhinovirus (the common cold).

Dr Paul Pottinger, a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, in an interview with CNN, said, "The moist lining of the nose has microscopically small glands that can secrete mucus into the airway in response to foreign invaders."

"That includes big stuff like pollen and dirt and dust and also microscopic stuff, which would include bacteria and viruses," Pottinger added.

And the mucus dries up, along with whatever it has caught, it turns into boogers- scientists call them crusts.

And when we pick it out when we feel one inside our nose, we don't realise that the act can create tiny cuts in the delicate epithelial linings in the nasal cavity.

"Once that barrier is breached, you're right into a capillary bed, which becomes the conduit for viral particle infection," said molecular virologist Cedric Buckley, formerly an associate professor of biology at Jackson State University in Mississippi, to CNN.

"This breach increases your chances of transmitting whatever germs are on your hands right into your bloodstream," Buckley added.

Buckley also serves on the City of Jackson COVID-19 Task Force.

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