Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hand sanitizer gel works

06.09.2005


Randomized trial finds reduced spread of GI infections in families with children in day care



Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel significantly reduces the spread of gastrointestinal infections in the home, according to a study in the September issue of Pediatrics. In a study of 292 Greater Boston families -- half of which were given hand sanitizer -- those that used the gel had a 59 percent reduction in the spread of GI illnesses.

"This is the first randomized trial to show that hand sanitizer reduces the spread of germs in the home," says Dr. Thomas J. Sandora, a physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital Boston and lead author of the study, dubbed "Healthy Hands, Healthy Families."


The families were recruited through day care centers, and all had a least one child in day care. Families already using hand sanitizer were excluded from the study. Half the families were randomly assigned to receive hand sanitizer and educational materials on hand hygiene. They were told to place bottles of the gel around the house, including bathroom, kitchen and baby’s room, and to apply it to their hands after using the toilet, before preparing food, after diaper changes, etc. The remaining families, serving as controls, received only materials about nutrition, and were asked not to use hand sanitizer. The two groups reported similar rates of handwashing on an initial questionnaire.

For five months, investigators tracked the families, phoning every other week to record how much hand sanitizer had been used, whether someone had developed a respiratory or GI infection, and whether the illness had spread to others in the home. The families given hand sanitizer had a 59 percent lower incidence of secondary GI illnesses as compared with the control group, after adjustment for other factors such as the number of young children in the household. In addition, families reporting higher amounts sanitizer usage (more than 2 oz in 2 weeks, indicating 4-5 uses per day) were about 20 percent less likely to transmit respiratory illnesses, but this effect didn’t reach statistical significance.

"We think that’s probably because people were more diligent about using the sanitizer after a GI-related incident, such as using the bathroom or vomiting, than after a respiratory incident, such as nose-wiping or sneezing," says Sandora, also an instructor at Harvard Medical School.

A related study from Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston, published in the April issue of Pediatrics, did observe a protective effect against respiratory illness among families who used hand sanitizer gels at their own initiative.

The alcohol-based gels, widely available in stores, do not require water and rapidly kill most bacteria and viruses on the skin. They are a convenient alternative for busy parents who are unable to get to a sink while caring for sick children.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 7.5 million children under age 5 are enrolled in day care, placing them at high risk for respiratory and GI infections, which they readily transmit to household members.

Although handwashing with soap and water is effective in reducing the spread of most infections, it requires access to a sink. In addition, there is evidence that rotavirus, the most common GI infection in the child-care setting, is not removed effectively by soap and water but is reliably killed by alcohol.

Elizabeth Andrews | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.childrenshospital.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>