Hand sanitizer not helpful to fight flu: Research
As hand sanitizers are considered the most powerful formulas that kill germs instantly, even those pesky ones that land you with a cold or flu, but the flu-causing germs stay on.
According to a new study published in the journal mSphere, sanitizer products cannot remove the mucus on a person’s fingers. In order to test this, the researchers dabbed participant’s hands with IAV-infected wet mucus.
“The physical properties of the mucus protect the virus from inactivation,” said Ryohei Hirose, a physician and molecular gastroenterologist at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan, in a press release. “Until the mucus has completely dried, infectious IAV can remain on the hands and fingers, even after appropriate antiseptic 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 catching the flu or transferring it to another person. Once the mucus has dried, it can be disinfected with any hand sanitizer.
The US-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises people to wash their hands with soap and water instead, to reduce the chances of catching a cold, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.