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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

#Alcohol-Hand Sanitizers increase #norovirus risk: study says

A survey of 161 long-term care facilities in the United States presented at an American College of Preventative Medicine meeting in February revealed an association between the preferential use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers for routine hand hygiene with an increased risk for outbreaks of norovirus, the highly infectious virus that causes most cases of acute gastroenteritis

Of the 45 facilities that reported preferential use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in a recent survey, 53% experienced a confirmed outbreak of norovirus, compared with 18% of the 17 facilities that used hand sanitizers less often than soap and water.

"...these findings indicate that alcohol-based hand sanitizers might be “suboptimal in controlling the spread of noroviruses,” said Dr. David Blaney of the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Other studies have demonstrated that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are often ineffective against nonenveloped viruses, including norovirus, suggesting their use may not be appropriate in settings that frequently experience outbreaks, such as long-term care facilities..

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