Disinfecting hand gels don't affect swine flu infection rate

Sep 12, 2010

The regular use of alcohol-based disinfecting hand gels authorities recommended during the A(H1N1) pandemic has little effect on the disease's infection rate, according to a study published Sunday.

The findings suggest that the virus and similar strains may be most effectively transmitted in the air, rather than by contact with infected surfaces, the authors of the study said.

"An alcohol hand with enhanced antiviral activity failed to significantly reduce the frequency of infection with either rhinovirus or ," wrote the authors of the study presented Sunday at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) here.

Participants in the study disinfected their hands roughly every three hours over ten weeks between August 25 and November 9, 2009. Of that group, 42 out of 100 contracted rhinovirus infections, compared to 51 out of 100 in the control group.

Similarly, 12 of those regularly disinfecting their hands contracted the so-called swine , compared to 15 in the control group.

"The hand treatment also did not significantly reduce the frequency of illnesses caused by the viruses," said the authors of the study led by Ronald Turner of the University of Virginia.

The study was financed by the Dial Corporation, which makes various care and cleaning products, including alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

"The results of this study suggest that hand transmission maybe less important for the spread of than previously believed," the authors said.

"This study suggests that protection from infection with these viruses may require increased attention to aerosol transmission of virus," they added.

ICAAC, the principal international meeting on infectious diseases, has brought together some 12,000 specialists to Boston for presentations and discussions between September 12-15.

Explore further: AMA examines economic impact of physicians

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

AMA examines economic impact of physicians

8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

8 hours ago

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

8 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nartoon
not rated yet Sep 12, 2010
A 20% reduction is nothing to sneeze at. Many other tests in drug fields would love a 20% result in improvement.

More news stories

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.