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Infection Control

Study finds hand disinfectants do little in terms of prevention

September 14, 2010
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WASHINGTON — A team of researchers led by University of Virginia cold expert Ronald Turner, MD, found in a nationwide study that alcohol-based hand disinfectants fail to significantly reduce the frequency of infection from either the rhinovirus or the influenza virus, according to Infection Control Today.
Turner is presenting the results of the study at the 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in Boston, the article noted.
In the study, volunteers who used an antiviral hand sanitizer every three hours had 42 rhinovirus infections per 100 subjects compared to 51 infections per 100 subjects in volunteers who used no special intervention, the article stated.
"These results suggest that hand transmission may be less important for the spread of rhinovirus and influenza virus than previously believed," Turner said.
"The study also suggests that protection from infection with these viruses may require increased attention to aerosol transmission of viruses." Turner added.
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