Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Pairing masks and handwashing could slow flu spread

February 1, 2012

WASHINGTON — Masks, in addition to proper hand hygiene, could have a 75 percent success rate in stopping the spread of flu symptoms, according to Infection Control Today.

A new report from the University of Michigan (U-M) had found that there was a significant reduction in instances of the flu when hand hygiene was observed and surgical masks were worn in the dorms, the article stated.

According to the article, the so-called M-Flu study was the first of its kind and received international exposure when it was first launched back in 2006.

Students were assigned to groups who wore masks, wore masks and practiced hand hygiene or did neither, the article noted.

"This means masks and hand hygiene may be a good measure for preventing transmissions in crowded living quarters," said Allison Aiello, associate professor of epidemiology in the U-M School of Public Health.

"In a pandemic situation where compliance may be significantly higher than in controlled studies, masks and hand hygiene together may have even higher preventative implications," Aiello added.

Click here to read the complete article.