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 New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>