Betty on the News: Some Doubt Hand Washing Stops Swine Flu

Kids are still being sent home with H1N1 symptoms, causing some to question the hand washing recommedation

Betty on the News: Some Doubt Hand Washing Stops Swine Flu

Kids are still being sent home with H1N1 symptoms, causing some to question the hand washing recommedation

-Carolyn French

A woman washing her hands

For months we have been advised to keep our hands clean in order to severely reduce the risk of catching swine flu, but is all the hand washing really helping?

That is the question one parent of a middle school student asked herself after learning that dozens of children were being sent home with symptoms of the H1N1 virus, despite the fact that the school had ordered the pupils to cleanse their hands at least every 45 minutes.

Various experts are now saying that washing your hands is not guaranteed to stop the spread of influenza, including swine flu.

“Washing hands really is wonderful for preventing many diseases, such as the common cold, but it’s not very helpful to prevent influenza,” Arthur Reingold, professor of epidemiology at the University of California-Berkeley, said.

Mirroring Reingold’s statement, CDC spokeman Tom Skinner said there is currently no evidence that supports the notion that hand washing can help to stave off the disease.

However, he did say we should continue to keep our extremities as clean as possible in order to keep our immune systems in tiptop shape. “There are studies that show hand washing was effective in reducing transmission of other respiratory diseases,” he stated. (CNN.com)

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