An Old and Simple Remedy

An experiment in elementary school school children demonstrated the value of hand-washing.The children were taught how to take culture samples from their hands and how to wash their hands properly. Ninety-one percent reported they saw reduced microbial growth after cleaning hands--89% said this changed their hand hygiene in the right direction. Most importantly student absenteeism…

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Say Bye-Bye to OTC Antibacterial Soaps

It has taken a long time, but finally the Federal Drug Administration has brought an end to the marketing of over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial soaps--those that contain any of 19 specific active ingredients, including triclosan and triclocarban. This new ruling does not impact antibacterial products used in healthcare settings--nor OTC alcohol handrubs or wipes. Manufacturers have…

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Hand Washing Still Vital

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…

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High Tech Eyes Make a Difference

Police have found that the deployment of video cameras deter speeding. A hospital in New York placed video cameras with views of every sink and sanitizer dispenser to record hand hygiene of all workers. During 16-weeks of video monitoring only, acceptable hand hygiene rates were less than 10%. However, when real-time feedback on LED displays…

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

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…

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