2009-09-19

Wash Your Hands

And use hand sanitizer. Ideally CleanWell.

NYTimes:
"During the eight-week study period, students in the dorms with ready access to hand sanitizers had a third fewer complaints of coughs, chest congestion and fever. Over all, the risk of getting sick was 20 percent lower in the dorms where hand hygiene was emphasized, and those students missed 43 percent fewer days of school."

2 comments:

  1. Wash hands yes.

    Hand sanitizer just leads to super-germs.

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  2. Absolutely, wash hands and dry you hands frequently. This is especially true when there during cold and flu season or if you have an underlying medical condition. Hand sanitizers are a useful tool when soap and water aren't available. The problem that you are trying to address is the carriage of a bacteria or virus from some surface that you may have touched to your nose, mouth, or eyes where it can trigger an infection. We all touch our faces much more frequently than we might think and the purpose of hand hygiene is to interrupt the final common pathway of infection. Again for emphasis, the best way is to clean your hand with soap and water.

    Unfortunately, we don’t design our public spaces for hygiene so a clean facility with soap and water are often hard to find when you need them. Even when they are, we are generally not very good at washing our hands and when we do wash, most of us don’t do it adequately. Public health is tied the health of all of the individuals in the community and their personal hygiene practices. Germs know no boundaries and we are quite literally “all in this together.” For all of these reasons, we all have an incentive to do everything we can to avoid catching and transmitting infectious disease. Hand washing supplemented by the use hand sanitizers (especially CleanWell) are valuable tools to achieve this end.

    That said, I beg to differ with Pete’s remark that the use of hand sanitizers leads to “super germs.” My disagreement is twofold and based on scientific evidence. First, there is simply no clinical evidence that the use of hand sanitizers in any way leads to resistant bacteria or "super-germs" and this has been very well studied. If Pete has any evidence to the contrary, I would certainly like to see it. Second, there is very little disagreement that emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria or “super bugs” is the direct result of the use (and abuse) of the antibiotics themselves. This includes inappropriate prescribing, overuse, but mostly the incorporation of massive amounts of the very valuable medical tools into animal feed. I would urge Pete and everyone who is concerned about this to focus their attention on this particular aspect of the very real “super bug” problem. It is where we can have the most impact.

    Larry Weiss, MD
    CleanWell Company
    www.cleanwelltoday.com

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