ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Gene Studies Reveal Cancer's Secrets
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
CAREGIVING
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Eating Healthy : You Can Live Longer
TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
Former Inmates at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
EYE CARE, VISION
Sports Eye Injuries Leading Cause of Blindness in Youths
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
FITNESS
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Food and Water Supply Poisoned by Perchlorate
Sleep and Do Better
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Drink Away Dementia?
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Add your Article

Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away

(HealthDay News) -- Medications, personal hygiene, mask-wearing and quarantines all help prevent the spread of viral infections such as the flu, and researchers now suggest that the latter three strategies should be given more attention in plans to deal with pandemics.

In an update of a 2007 study, Dr. Tom Jefferson of the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections Group in Rome, Italy, and colleagues reviewed the results of 59 studies that looked at the effectiveness of strategies to reduce the spread of viral germs that cause respiratory diseases such as the flu and SARS. The new review appears online Sept. 22 in BMJ.

The researchers looked at studies that compared a number of strategies (quarantine/isolation, distancing sick people from healthy people through other methods, better hygiene) with other interventions, or doing nothing.

The review found that wearing gloves, gowns and masks is effective, and so is hand washing more than 10 times a day. The strategies are even more effective when people use more than one of them.

Jefferson's team also found that the highest quality studies reported that the spread of diseases can be lowered through hygiene in households and among young children.

The researchers found only limited evidence that so-called N95 facial masks, which are uncomfortable and expensive, are better than simple surgical masks.

Also, they noted that it is unclear whether people need to add antiseptics to normal soap and water.

The researchers called for national school programs to encourage hand washing and stressed that gloves, gowns, masks and isolation of certain patients are all appropriate when there's high risk that the respiratory diseases will spread.

"More resources should be invested into studying which physical interventions are the most effective, flexible and cost-effective means of minimizing the impact of acute respiratory tract infections," the study authors concluded.

SOURCES: BMJ, news release, Sept. 22, 2009