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Does Hand Washing and Face Masks Prevent H1N1 Spread at Home?

Hand hygiene and face masks may reduce household influenza virus transmission when implemented early.

Does hand hygiene and wearing surgical face masks prevent household transmission of 2009 H1N1 influenza? A new Hong Kong study found that indeed these measures when implemented early after symptom onset seemed to curtail transmission to other members of the family. The control group received healthy dietary and lifestyle advice. Another group were educated by a visiting nurse on hand hygiene. The third group was educated on hand hygiene and the importance of correctly wearing a surgical face mask during the home visit. The greatest benefit was observed in the group who washed their hands and wore masks.