Sunday, January 06, 2008


How Much Handwashing Is Enough?

In the Guardian co. UK article Vomiting bug to get worse, Jo Revill informs us (my underlining):
Infections from the debilitating norovirus stomach bug will peak this week as millions return to work after the holidays and spread the germs, the government has warned. People are advised to protect themselves by washing their hands thoroughly at all times.

The virus does seem to be pretty contagious:
Doctors estimate that more than 100,000 people a week are catching the infection - and the rate may peak this week as the virus takes the opportunity to spread in the workplace and classrooms. Reported cases of the illness from early December are at a five-year-high, but the real figure is likely to be much greater as most sufferers do not seek medical attention. People struck down have been urged by GPs not to go back to work until the symptoms have fully disappeared.

It makes sense to pay extra attention to hygiene to prevent or reduce transmission. But if people are washing their hands at all times, won't that use an awful lot of water?

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