• Question: are people more likley to catch an illness if they don't use hand sanitisers

    Asked by maria10 to Michael, Panos on 25 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Michael Loughlin

      Michael Loughlin answered on 25 Jun 2010:

      In general yes..because handsanitisers like ethanl kill bacteria but it depends when they use them..
      Say you have a burger and through bad luck it has anasty version of E.coli in it. Doesn’t cause disease this time and you go to the loo later in the day remving faeces and a does of E.coli.
      Now if you don’t wipe your hands you may well carry that ecoli to other surfaces other foodtsuffs other people.and give it another chance to infect and this time eprhasp cause disease.
      If you do wipe your hands you may not kill all the bacteria..(99.9% kill means 10,000 down to 10bacteria that will divide quickly) but it will reduce any dose you have and so reduce the risk.
      Washing hands can never kill all bacteria ( the chemcials we’d need to use would kill you too) but it does reduce the risk..and thats what its all about.
      So if after hugging some one you feel the need to wash your hands..why..they have the same bacteria you have on the skin, so washing would not reduce the risk of infection.
      But if aftersneezing in your hands you feel the need to wash…good.any soap will explode flu viruses and so you won’t have so many on your hands to pass on to someone else
      so its all down to the dose of bacteria and the risk of disease

      good question..

    • Photo: Panos Soultanas

      Panos Soultanas answered on 25 Jun 2010:

      Hello Maria,

      There is no extra danger if you are not using hand sanitisers. Just normal hand hygiene is sufficient to keep you out of any trouble. Good old soap when your hands are dirty is more than enough. There is absolutely no need to be overly concerned about keeping your hands always super clean with hand sanitisers.