New Report Warns of Hygiene Complacency In World Awash With Common Cold and Influenza Viruses
, September 29/PRNewswire/ --
As the threat of a potentially devastating outbreak of H5N1
LONDON , September 29/PRNewswire/ -- As the threat of a potentially devastating outbreak of H5N1bird flu virus adds a new dimension of concern to the 2005 influenza season, a new report out today suggests that simple improvements in hygiene could reduce the transmission of respiratory viruses by helping to break the chain of infection. Good old-fashioned hand washing was found to be an effective way of preventing transmission, while new products such as anti-viral tissues proved to be the least effective.
The report by John Oxford, Professor of Virology, and Dr. Rob
The report by John Oxford, Professor of Virology, and Dr. RobLambkin of Retroscreen Virology Ltd., of Queen Mary's
The influenza virus survives longer on hard non-porous
The influenza virus survives longer on hard non-poroussurfaces in low humidity and at cooler temperatures for up to 48 hours and could easily contaminate any hands they come into contact with. Person to person transfer of rhinovirus is dependent upon time spent together and shedding of large amounts of virus by the donor. It is therefore possible that the chain of infection can be interrupted by environmental manipulation.
The study reviewed the role of hand cleansing, surface disinfection and anti-viral tissues.
For the common cold virus, the most effective way of breaking
For the common cold virus, the most effective way of breakingthe chain is via hand washing with virucidal compounds, thus preventing the virus from contaminating environmental surfaces in the first place. Studies have shown that viruses can survive on human hands for several hours and that self-inoculation by rubbing of the nasal mucosa or conjunctivae with virus-contaminated fingers could lead to infection in susceptible host.
The least effective way to prevent transmission of the common
The least effective way to prevent transmission of the commoncold is through the use of virucidal nasal tissues. Their effect is to trap or inactivate the virus as it is sneezed into the tissue. These can kill some viruses, but usually not instantaneously. After 15 minutes the tissues may have inactivated some of the virus in the mucus on the tissue, but by this time they will have been disposed off in a bin and therefore are not a transmission threat.
Findings suggest that surface disinfectants may be important in breaking
Findings suggest that surface disinfectants may be important in breakingthe chain of transmission by reducing the risk of hand contamination. A recent study by the
Professor Oxford commented: "Unfortunately, personal
Professor Oxford commented: "Unfortunately, personalcleanliness and hygiene levels have dropped steadily over the last decades with many microbes, as never before, using the opportunity to spread.
"First and foremost to reduce virus transmission attention
"First and foremost to reduce virus transmission attention|must be paid to hand washing and then when this is satisfactory, focus oncleansing surfaces and equipment shared by others such as desks, tables, telephones and door knobs.
"It is important that people do not come to rely on antiviral
tissues to reduce the spread of viruses and then reduce hand washing as
"It is important that people do not come to rely on antiviral tissues to reduce the spread of viruses and then reduce hand washing as thiscould lead to an increase in infection of what could be very serious respiratory viruses. Quite rightly for influenza, great reliance continues to be placed on vaccines and antiviral drugs, but still virus destruction on surfaces and hand washing continues to be an important adjunct."
For further information or to receive a copy of the full report, please contact: Miranda Penfound +44-(0)20-7798-9912 email@example.com. Emily Thomas +44-(0)20-7798-9904 firstname.lastname@example.org,Tonic Life Communications
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