A simple hand wash can help halt respiratory virus spread

November 14th, 2007 - 2:24 am ICT by admin  
The study found that blocking spread of respiratory viruses is an important part of halting the spread of disease if an epidemic breaks out.

This is particularly important for children because it will help to protect them as well as reduce the chance of passing viruses to other household members.

Using barriers such as simple face masks and gloves, separating people known to be infected are also useful means of containing respiratory viruses.

A multinational team of Cochrane Researchers reviewed many databases for scientific studies and found 51 that fitted their inclusion criteria.

“There is a strong indication that introducing hygienic measures around younger children can be a very powerful way of blocking spread, protecting them and the community they live in,” says lead researcher Professor Tom Jefferson from Rome, Italy.

The team also concluded that there was little if any evidence that expensive and uncomfortable N95 masks were any better than simple surgical masks. They were also left uncertain about whether adding chemicals that kill bacteria and viruses to soap made them any more effective at preventing transmission than normal soap.

“Many simple and probably low-cost interventions could help reduce transmission of epidemic respiratory viruses,” says Jefferson. (ANI)

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