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article imageWashing your hands doesn't stop swine flu

By Nathanial Benton     Sep 16, 2009 in Health
Most of us were raised as children to wash our hands after doing some of the most basic of things such as using the rest room, handling money, or going out and playing with other children. However, washing your hands is no defense against swine flu.
Since the Swine Flu had its big impact, things such as washing our hands have been stressed even more. Some companies, such as Disney, are selling hand wash soaps with musical timers. These timers will play a small song from films such as "The Little Mermaid" for the length of time the child should wash their hands, very similar to musical toothbrushes.
While washing our hands certainly is an important thing, and is a good defense against the common cold, it isn't quite helpful against the influenza virus.
Studies show that there is virtually no way to get the influenza virus from germs that you pick up on your hands, according to Arthur Reingold, head of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-director of the CDC-funded California Emerging Infections Program.
Humans are most likely vulnerable to the influenza virus by simply breathing. Inhaling microscopic particles exhaled from other people is the most common way to contract the virus.
Washing your hands is important. It's still an effective way to prevent the common cold and more, and should not be discouraged by any means.
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