ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
CANCER
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
CAREGIVING
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Caffeine May Offer Some Skin Cancer Protection
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Artificial Light Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk
Gene Mutation May Cause Some Cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
EYE CARE, VISION
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
FITNESS
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Have Fun But Put Play It Safe on the 4th
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
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
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Countdown to Hair Loss
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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