Is hand hygiene still the best strategy for swine flu prevention?

Is hand hygiene still the best strategy for swine flu prevention?

Research on hand hygiene & swine flu (H1N1 influenza) prevention!

New research points out: ‘hand-to-face touch’ is a crucial link in catching swine flu and infection is likely not limited to body-contact!

The global death toll arrived beyond 5000, and the stronger ‘momentum’ of the second wave of the H1N1 virus is now observed on 3 continents.

On wednesday september 8, Barack Obama told students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia:

“I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.”

But the new reports indicate that washing hands is likely not enough to stop the H1N1 influenza virus – so it does make sense that governments recommend an anti-virus swine flu shot!

Anyway, just remember: ‘… think about your hand hygiene!’

SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:
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Despite swine flu many people haven't improved their hand washing habit!

Hands on hand hygiene: how good is your hand washing habit?

A new US survey has indicated that despite the swine flu, many people haven’t changed their washing hands habits. Did you try to improve your hand washing habit?

The survey was conducted online July 28-31 and involved 1,020 American adults across the country aged 18 to 65. Jon Dommisse, director of marketing and product development at Bradley Corporation (conductor of the survey) said:

“…they wash their hands no more or less frequently. We found the response to the H1N1 question extremely surprising, especially since the medical community has said over and over that hand washing is the best defense against the spread of cold and flu viruses.”

Overall, 87 percent of respondents said they did wash their hands after using public lavatories, but other responses indicated that some may have exaggerated how often they actually did the job correctly. When asked if they had also used soap, the numbers declined only slightly, to 86 percent; yet 55 percent of the group admitted on occasion they’ve simply rinsed, without using soap.

Just remember…

THE U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION SAYS …

HAND WASHING IS CRITICAL IN PREVENTING ILLNESS!!!

Only a few days ago a few more swine flu facts were described by World Health Organisation Director General Margaret Chan in an interview:

“…This virus [H1N1 influenza A] travels at an unbelievable, almost unheard of speed. In six weeks it travels the same distance that other viruses take six months to cover. … Sixty percent of the deaths cover those who have underlying health problems. This means that 40 percent of the fatalities concern young adults – in good health – who die of a viral fever in five to seven days. This is the most worrying fact, up to 30 percent of people in densely populated countries risked getting infected …While 90 percent of severe and fatal cases occur in people aged above 65 in seasonal flu, most of those who die from swine flu are under the age of 50.”

MORE DETAILS AVAILABLE AT:

Hands on ‘hand hygiene’!
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Skin care: hand washing and applying hand cream takes 9 steps!

Clean hands save lives: hand hygiene is the key to prevent a swine flue pandemic.

On july 14, swine flue was reported to hit the Bassetlaw region with three suspected cases of swine flue (Influenza A – H1N1), and in at least one of those cases a nine-year-old child at Worksop’s St John’s Primary School was confirmed to be suffering from the disease. On july 23 ‘National Pandemic Flu Service (NPFS)’ was launched featured with the simple advice ‘CATCH IT, BIN IT, KILL IT’ – and within a few hours the website crashed due to its popularity. On july 25 – last saturday – sales of hand gel had rocket in Worksop due to the swine flue fears.

What can you do?

To help limit the spread, wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water. Antibacterial, alcohol hand gels can stop the virus. When sneezing, catch all droplets in a clean tissue and dispose in a bin immediately. If you are diagnosed with swine flu, stay at home. Adults are generally infectious to others for five days, children for seven days. Do not go to work until all of the symptoms have cleared and you are fully recovered.

According the ‘National Pandemic Flu Service’ the basic rules to prevent from being affected by the disease are:

“- Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible;

– Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully;

– Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from our hands to face or to other people;

– Cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product;

– Making sure your children follow this advice.”

SUGGESTION FOR FURTHER READING:

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Healthy handwashing: how to get your hands clean.

In May 2009 the World Health Organization (WHO) has presented new guidelines for hand hygiene and handwashing. The guidelines were targeted at hospital administrators, public health officials, and healthcare workers (HCWs).

The new guidlines are designed to be used in any setting in which healthcare is delivered either to a patient or to a specific group, including all settings where healthcare is permanently or occasionally performed. Details are presented for the following: hand hygiene indications, hand hygiene techniques, selecting hand hygiene agents, recommendations for skin care + glove use, and surgical hand preperation.

A few quotes from the new WHO guidlines:

“• When washing hands, wet hands with water and apply enough soap to cover all surfaces; rinse hands with water and dry thoroughly with a single-use towel. Whenever possible, use clean, running water. Avoid hot water, which may increase the risk for dermatitis.

• Liquid, bar, leaf, or powdered soap is acceptable; bars should be small and placed in racks that allow drainage.

• When using alcohol based handrub, rub a palmful of alcohol-based handrub over all hand surfaces until dry.

• Soap and alcohol-based handrub should not be used together.”

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Hand washing affects 'moral judgement'.

Last year a Britsh study was presented which pointed out a remarkable effect of washing hands: people are more likely to be tollerant in making decisions if they have just washed their hands.

The study included 2 experiment. In the first study, 44 people were asked to watch a disgusting three-minute clip from the hit film ‘Trainspotting’: 22 people had washed their hands just before seeing the movie, and 22 had not. All 44 people were then asked to rate on a scale of one to nine the morality of a series of acts in the movie (varying from stealing a wallet, to abusing a kitten).

In the second study a group was asked to read sentences with words such as ‘purity’ and ‘cleanliness’, and then they were posed the same moral dilemmas of the first experiment. Another group was given sentences including more neutral words.

Surprisingly, in both hand washing experiments the ‘clean’ group judged the unethical behaviour less harshly.

• Dr. Simone Schnall (psychologist) says:

“When we exercise moral judgment, we believe we are making a conscious, rational decision, but this research shows that we are subconsciously influenced by how clean or ‘pure’ we feel.”

Source: Cleanliness can compromise moral judgment

• Professor Cary Cooper (psychologist) says:

“It suggests that washing can make us more prepared to accept wrongdoing. It is very scary when you think of the implications, especially in the judicial world.”

Source: Washing hands affects moral judgement