Have you found hand sanitizer in short supply at area stores?

Coronavirus fears have led people to stock up on the germ-killer, leaving store shelves empty and online retailers with high prices set by those trying to profit on the rush. More is on the way, although it’s not clear how long it will take stores to restock.

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Hand sanitizer sales in the U.S. were up 73% in the four weeks ending Feb. 22 according to market research firm Nielsen.

Hand sanitizer isn’t the best way to clean your hands. For that, soap and water still reigns supreme, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency recommends first washing hands with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under finger nails before rinsing off.

If you’re not near a sink, hand sanitizer will do. But keep in mind that it doesn’t kill all germs, the CDC says. When applying it, rub it all over your hands until they’re dry and don’t touch your face, since health officials say viruses could enter your body from your eyes, mouth or nose.

Purell, the best-selling hand sanitizer, is pumping up production. Purell says it has seen higher demand from health care facilities in addition to stores.

It is adding more shifts and having employees work overtime at the two Ohio facilities where most Purell is made, says Samantha Williams, a spokeswoman for its parent company Gojo Industries.

On Amazon, most hand sanitizers were gone. Those that remained were seriously overpriced.

(WIVB-TV)