Long nails, varnish and extensions can easily harbour fungi and bacteria, an expert warned amid the coronavirus pandemic. As people are asked to wash their hands frequently to avoid any virus from being contracted, Dr Elisabeth Dancey, a British beauty and aesthetics expert, says long nails can lead to contracting the virus.

"Long nails, nail varnish and nail extensions have always been a no-no for anybody who needs spotlessly clean hands; nurses, doctors, therapists, cooks, mothersandcarers," Dancey who works at Bijoux Medispa in Belgravia, told FEMAIL, according to the Daily Mail.

"Germs such as bacteria, fungi and viruses (including the Coronavirus) can harbour underneath the nail space and easily be transmitted to whatever you touch. Put simply, you cannot see the dirt that lies beneath... Doctors know this and rigourously scrub under their nails before donning gloves and performing surgery; with a sterile nail brush and sanitising solution. We should now follow their example."

Former orthopaedic surgeon Dr Chike Emeagi, Medical Director of Hampstead Aesthetics Clinic and Dr Chike Clinics, told FEMAIL the ideal nail length was just above the nail tissue. "It is advisable to cut your nails as short as possible as they harbour infection."

coronavirus structure
3D medical animation coronavirus structure Wikimedia Commons

The latest warning comes after a nurse went viral after revealing that long nails are one of the fastest spreaders of the coronavirus, which has claimed more than 20,000 lives worldwide.

The Australian nurse posted on Facebook showing people about the simple way to tell if your nails are short enough.

"Among all the hand-washing instructions and the fun 20-second song suggestions, I haven't seen anyone note that it is impossible to wash your hands properly if your fingernails are long," the woman wrote, adding that bacteria, viruses, dirt, debris live in your fingernails if they are too long meaning if you bite them then that is transferred into your mouth.

"If you can't put your fingernails straight down against your other palm without your nails adding too much distance to do it, you cannot wash under your fingernails properly unless you use a nail brush every time," she said.

"If you can't rub the very ends of your fingers against the other palm, then your hands aren't truly clean after you wash them, no matter how long you soap up," she wrote.

She concluded: "Please, during this global emergency, keep your nails short."

The entire world is currently trying to fight the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 400,000 people worldwide. Several countries have gone under a complete lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.