ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
CANCER
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
CAREGIVING
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vitamin D Deficit May Trigger MS Risk Gene
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
FITNESS
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Olde Time Medicine Therapy May Prevent Alcoholic Relapse
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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