Washing hands helps prevent the most common cause of GI infection.
Noroviruses cause more diarrhea in the U.S. than any other pathogen--probably half of all gastroenteritis worldwide. A tiny dose causes infection, then huge quanties of virons are shed in vomit and feces. This virus can survive for weeks on things like grocery bags. Swabs obtained from a bag 2 weeks after an outbreak traced to grapes and snacks carried in that bag, were still viable.
PositiveTip: Frequent hand-washing goes a long way toward preventing gastroenteritis.
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.