ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
Cane Use May Cut Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis
CANCER
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
CAREGIVING
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
Fruit Even Healthier Than Thought: Study Shows
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Eating Free Range
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
Hairspray Exposure Ups Risk for Birth Defect in Sons
EYE CARE, VISION
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
FITNESS
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
Super Bowl Loss Can 'Kill' Some Fans
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
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