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Can frequent handwashing increase the incidence of OCD?

Until a potential vaccine against COVID-19 arrives, it is important to strictly follow preventative measures, such as frequent handwashing, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, to prevent contracting/spreading the infection. However, the need for frequent handwashing during the pandemic is negatively affecting people with preexisting anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), leading to an increase in their symptoms. Dr. Jai Ranjan Ram, Sr. Consultant Psychiatrist, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital Limited, Kolkata sheds light on this indirect health effect of COVID-19.

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