Hand sanitizer cannot protect against flu, scientists say

September 23, 2019  22:45

Hand sanitizers do not kill viruses of acute respiratory infections and flu, mSphere reported in a study Kyoto Prefecture Medical University in Japan

Researchers applied wet mucus collected from people infected with influenza A to the fingertips of 10 volunteers, and then applied a hand sanitizer. It turned out that alcohol did not kill the flu virus if the antiseptic remained on the fingers for 2 minutes; it took 4 minutes to completely deactivate the virus.

The results of this new study contradict many previous studies, according to which antiseptic alcohol-containing hand products are quite effective against the spread of viruses and bacteria.

“In our studies hand sanitizers worked pretty darn good compared to soap and water,” said microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor at the University of Arizona.

“The reason why is most people don’t wash their hands enough to kill the germs. We’ve done surveys and watched people and timed them. It comes out to only 11 seconds. So nobody really does it long enough," WQAD reported quoting the professor.

Another reason for the conflicting results, according to Japanese researchers, is that in most previous studies, hand antiseptics were used from already dried mucus. Whereas wet mucus is the medium necessary for microbes to grow and spread. In the new study, it was precisely the thick consistency of the mucus that for so long protected the virus from death.

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