We had it all wrong. The hand sanitizer will not defend you from infectious the flu, a new study exposes.
It’s a myth that hand sanitizers kill germs rapidly, even those irritating ones that land you with a cold or flu. While it is true that some germs are removed with a rapid crush, the flu-causing ones stay on.
According to a new study issued in the periodical mSphere, sanitizer products cannot eliminate the secretion on a person’s fingers. In order to test this, the researchers wiped the participant’s hands with IAV-infected wet secretion.
“The physical possessions of the mucus defend the virus from inactivation,” said Ryohei Hirose, a physician and molecular gastroenterologist at the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan, in a press statement. “Until the mucus has completely become dry, infective IAV can remain on the hands and fingers, even after suitable sterile hand rubbing.”
This mucus can take up to four minutes or more to dry, which means in those four minutes you have a high chance of infectious the flu or transferring it to another person. Once the mucus has become dry, it can be sterile with any hand sanitizer.
The United State-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises people to wash their hands with soap and water as a replacement for, to reduce the chances of catching a cold or use an alcohol-based hand sterilizer.
The researchers who led the study also agree, an antiseptic soap can clean up the flu germs within 30 seconds.