A new research has suggested that washing hands under the running water can be a better way to stop the spread of infections than using hand sanitizers. The new study was published in the journal mSphere and the researchers found that hand-washing removed the flu virus from hands more quickly and more effectively than using a dab of the alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
The new study has based on the previous research that suggests that hand-washing is superior for infection control, but the actual implications of the new findings are limited. The study has been compared to putting hand sanitizer on (without rubbing it) to using running water (while rubbing hands together). Study author Ryohei Hirose, from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan said, it did not mention on how rubbing hands together while using sanitizer or using soap while washing may affect the results.
Good hand hygiene , plays an important role in preventing the transmission of respiratory infections like flu and cold, which is easily caught if one touches an infected surface and then touch your mouth or nose. Compared to the previous studies the new research has found that using hand sanitizers can remove the flu virus but it took far longer than hand-washing did. One of the main reasons was that the mucus from the mouth and nose, that has the flu virus, makes it difficult for the alcohol in hand sanitizers to penetrate. Hirose said, “We had predicted that the virus in mucus would be somewhat resistant to alcohol disinfectants”.
But it seemed to actually shield the flu virus from the hand sanitizer even more than expected. But that does not mean that you can toss away the hand sanitizers. In hospital and other healthcare settings, workers have to clean their hands more frequently in a day and using a hand sanitizer can be a quick and easier way than washing.
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