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Do Viruses Spread More With a Kiss or Shaking Hands?
In the last few years, the flu viruses that have been listed as a potential pandemic has been the main topic of conversation. The transition of our society from a localized situation to world traveling brings with it the spread of all dangerous viruses. The media has made sure that we are aware of the various viruses and the spread patterns around the globe. There are many methods of catching a virus, but do viruses spread more easily with a kiss or a handshake?
Viruses have survived throughout history due to their ability to mutate. The mutation allows the virus to adapt to new environments and therefore reproduce and spread as an infection. A virus can also exist for a few hours outside of the host and poses potential risk on inanimate objects that we touch and use every day.
A 2007 study accomplished by hygiene experts from the United States and the United Kingdom has resulted in the outcome that people are at far more risk of viruses spreading by shaking hands than with a kiss. The study was based on home hygiene as opposed to hospital or medical setting hygiene. Published in the American Journal of Infection Control, it appears that good hand hygiene is the best main base of control for reducing the viruses spreading abilities.
Good hand hygiene is defined as washing your hands with soap and water and rinsing under running water. It also includes the use of alcohol hand rub or sanitizer. Cleansing the hands properly will lower the rate of spread from one infected household member to another non-infected individual. This thereby lowers the risk factor of generally spreading bacteria and viruses. The study included the fact that observance must be continued outside of the home in travel (public transportation) as well as the workplace.
Common workplace items such as telephones, computer keyboards and mice, door handles, etc. can easily transmit the viruses to the uninfected. Attention should be paid to regular hand cleansing and using wipes to disinfect those common areas.
An important topic to note was that good hand hygiene is the best first line of defense for reducing the spread of viruses and colds, but, by far should not be confused with the only line of defense. Good respiratory hygiene should also be taken into consideration, whether through using tissues for sneezing or covering the mouth and nose area and then washing hands.
There have been some that have expressed concerns that creating a situation of being too clean might cause the body to not build up immunities. The use of good hand hygiene will help to reduce the major viruses spreading, while allowing all other bacteria and microbes in the environment to still exist. The message from the report must have gotten out, because during the cold and flu season, there were containers of hand sanitizer and hand wipes at the entrance of almost every retail location that one visited.
So the general consensus is that hand hygiene, combined with a good health regiment will help reduce your chances of getting colds and flu. A good health regiment should always include a good diet, plenty of fluids and sufficient sleep. Some are also looking into integrative approaches to allow the body to fend off a potential virus. One of the products with an excellent success rate is Reme-Flu. This product is a holistic use of gentle herbs to not only assist in the body’s defenses but includes a proprietary blend for enhanced cellular absorption.
Always consult with your primary physician before adding anything to your diet or making any medical changes.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Flu2 Jun 2010|