Concern of Swine Flu sees the Use of Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer soar

Sanitizing hand wipes await patrons entering a Canton Safeway as well as in other areas of the grocery store. Dispensers are becoming common in office buildings, hospitals and schools as more people are mindful of the H1N1 virus and the debate about whether using soap and water is adequate.

When Sandy Summers picks up her children - ages 6 and 10 - at elementary school, they're greeted with squirts of hand sanitizer.

"When they get in the car, I put a glob on their hands," said the nurse, who lives in Homeland. "If they're going to eat a snack in the car, I make them use some. ... If I go to the grocery store, when I get in the car, the first thing I do is use the sanitizer. If I forget to use it before I touch the steering wheel, I put a whole bunch on my hands and just wipe it all over the steering wheel.

"With the flu season approaching, I find that we're using it more."

The germ-killing gel, foam and spray is suddenly everywhere, with dispensers bolted to walls in supermarkets, hospitals and kindergarten classrooms, with giant bottles standing guard at church services, with tiny ones stowed in purses, briefcases and backpacks. Fears of H1N1 flu have led the state to install dispensers in the public areas of all 56 of its office buildings.

Hand sanitizer has grown into a more than $112 million-a-year industry in the United States, and sales have been rising, much of it due to the swine flu pandemic. With the mantra "wash your hands" being practically shouted from the rooftops - President Barack Obama has encouraged it, while Sesame Street's Elmo is sharing the message in public service announcements - many people are using alcohol-based sanitizer as a quick and convenient alternative to good old soap and water.

And while some efforts are being made to more frequently disinfect surfaces where the swine flu virus may live - subway cars and buses in Washington are undergoing weekly cleansings - governments and businesses are putting out sanitizer in hopes that people will protect themselves and others around them by actually using the stuff. Liberally.

"Everyone has a role to play in stopping the spread of flu," said David Paulson, spokesman for the state's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. "Everyone has to take personal responsibility. That means keeping clean, covering your cough, getting the vaccine."

The conventional wisdom among public health officials is that hand sanitizer works well, but soaping up at the sink is best because it is the only way to wash off dirt. But others say hand sanitizer may actually be better, especially since so few people wash their hands properly and because the gels are always at the ready when you have sneezed or pushed an elevator button or turned a doorknob.

"It's actually better than soap," said Dr. Philip M. Tierno Jr., director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Langone Medical Center. "Soap and water does not kill germs. Soap and water washes them off your skin. ...

"The best thing you can do for yourself is wash appropriately with soap and water, 15 to 20 seconds," he said. "[But] most people don't wash appropriately because they don't do it long enough, suds up appropriately, don't get in between the digits."

Studies have shown for years that people don't wash their hands as often or as well as they should.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers only work if their alcohol concentration is greater than 60 percent (some products have 40 percent), experts say. Less is known about those marketed as alcohol-free.

In some places, schools have banned the use of alcohol-based sanitizers because of their alcohol content and concerns about accidental or even intentional ingestion.

Still, few see much downside to the ubiquity of sanitizers.

"The hand sanitizer tends to be more convenient. It tends to be less of an issue of drying [out] your hands," said Dr. Richard Boehler, chief medical officer at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson. "If you're washing your hands 20 to 30 times a day ... hand sanitizers seem to do a better job of keeping the skin intact."

Boehler said the recent swine flu outbreak has not changed St. Joseph's emphasis on hand sanitizer. The hospital became vigilant about its use several years ago after cases of hospital-acquired MRSA infections (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) were becoming a problem. Boehler said the religious use of hand sanitizer among staff cut MRSA infections by 50 percent.

"Our staff use it before they enter a patient's room and after as they are leaving," he said. "You'll find it all over. You'll see signs encouraging it. I wouldn't say we're fanatical, but we're really vigilant about it and vigilance is what you need."

Sales of hand sanitizer have been rising along with fears of the swine flu.

For the 12 weeks ending Aug. 9, sales in the category were up 19 percent from a year earlier, according to Information Resources Inc., a Chicago-based market research firm. The data include supermarkets, drugstores and mass-market retailers, excluding Walmart.

"The gold standard is, of course, soap and water," said Brian Sansoni, a spokesman for the Washington-based Soap and Detergent Association, an industry trade group. "But let's face it, we're not always around soap and water in our daily travels. The good thing is the sanitizer products are portable. You can't always take the soap and water with you."

Since it is made with alcohol, hand sanitizer - when used properly - kills most every germ it comes in contact with, unlike some antibacterial soap products that have led to worries about antibiotic resistance (a claim Tierno dismisses). The main thing it won't kill, Boehler said, is the intestinal bacteria Clostridium difficile, so staff who deal with patients with diarrhea must use soap and water.

Sanitizer kills down to the DNA of bacteria or viruses, Tierno said, meaning there is little chance of creating resistant organisms. But he cautions that just as with hand washing, hand sanitizers need to be used properly. Be sure to use a quarter-sized dollop and rub it on the top and bottom of the hand, between the fingers and into the nail bed, he said.

Still, Dr. Allison E. Aiello, a professor at University of Michigan School of Public Health who has studied hand sanitizer, said while there is a benefit to good hand hygiene, no studies have been done to see whether sanitizers or soap and water are more effective at reducing the spread of influenza. But, she said, sanitizer "does not seem to be inferior."

Hand washing alone won't protect from the flu this fall, Aiello said, because the respiratory illness is spread by water droplets and a sneeze sends those droplets far and wide with great speed. She hopes people will be sure to sneeze into their sleeves and stay home if they are sick in order to slow the virus.

Kids are learning proper respiratory etiquette at a young age, Boehler said, but adults have been slow to catch on.

Hand Sanitizing tips
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol.
Use a dime- to quarter-size dollop of the sanitizer. Make sure to cleanse the top and bottom of hands, in between the fingers and in the nail bed.
Try not to sneeze or cough into hands. This only promotes the spread of the flu. Use your sleeves when possible.

Resource: www.baltimoresun.com


Back to School Israelis getting ready with Antibacterial Hand Gel

As the summer ends, Israelis are preparing for more than the usual back-to-school and Jewish holiday periods. This year they are also getting ready for swine flu.

While Israelis have not been asked to change their hugging and kissing habits - yet - as elsewhere in the world, nonetheless the first signs of hysteria over the H1N1 virus are appearing.

Sales of cleaning and sanitation products have leaped by thousands of percent. Representatives of the SuperPharm pharmacy chain say they have not seen anything like this since the Second Gulf War - hand sanitizing gel sales are up 4,000 percent since the school year started last week.

In the last two days, the chain sold 50,000 units of the gel. Suppliers can't keep up with the demand, and have been forced to supplement local products with Asian imports.

But the Health Ministry has yet to publish recommendations calling on the public to stock up on sanitary products or face masks, and says the usual measures are enough: wash your hands, and cover your mouth with a handkerchief when sneezing or coughing. Most importantly, don't touch body parts where flu viruses concentrate and have the best chance of infection: the mouth, nose and eyes.

Overdoing it, and violating ministry rules

"One third of the meeting before the opening of the school year was devoted to swine flu," said the mother of a Tel Aviv first-grader. She said the children were asked to come to class with wet wipes and hand cleansing gel. Any child who misses a day of school must return with a doctor's note, saying he or she is not infectious.

However, the Education Ministry has not instructed students to bring sanitation materials to school. "One of the ways to avoid flu infection is being hygienic, washing hands with soap and water only," the ministry says. It "objects to requiring parents to equip their children with chemical preparations."

As with most ad campaigns in Israel, the Health Ministry's campaign against swine flu has its ultra-Orthodox version. It is similar to the one for the general public, but the cartoon characters washing their hands are all wearing skullcaps.

The ultra-Orthodox community is no less worried about what it calls Mexican flu - to avoid mentioning the name of unkosher animals - than the public at large. However, despite the large number of infections in yeshivas, there are no plans to cut back on mass learning, public prayers or holiday meals.

Creative solutions have appeared to avoid infection and increase public awareness. For example, ritual baths now have signs calling on the public to avoid infection. Even the Gerer Hassidim have given up their generations-old custom of sharing the rabbi's Shabbat wine, and now each Hasid gets his own disposable cup.



Preventing H1N1 Virus Swine Flu

How to prevent the H1N1 Virus also known as Swine flu.


Water and Soap vs Alcohol based Hand Sanitizers

Water was the most effective at removing stomach bug viruses from the hands, Emory University researchers find.

They planted stomach bug viruses on volunteers' fingers and allowed them to dry. The results, presented this week at the American Society for Microbiology Meeting in Orlando, Fla., showed the percentage of the viruses removed by water, hand soap, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Water removed 96 percent of the virus; liquid antibacterial soap removed 88 percent; and the hand sanitizer removed only 46 percent.

Whilst the Who World Health Organisation state in the hand hygiene paper that Alcohol

Alcohols are rapidly germicidal when applied to the skin, but have no appreciable persistent (residual) activity. However, regrowth of bacteria on the skin occurs slowly after use of alcohol-based hand antiseptics, presumably because of the sub-lethal effect alcohols have on some of the skin bacteria. They go on to advise that the sanitisers should have a minumum of 60% level of alcohol.

Demand for Hand Sanitizers increase as schools start back.

Antibacterial hand Sanitizer Back to School
With the spread of swine flu increasing rapidly throughout the world many health authorities are advising schools to take precautions and add antibacterial hand sanitizer to the school bag.

The worry is with the starting of the new school the spread of the swine flu might be accelerated to huge proportions.

Whilst the debate still rages on whether or not a hand sanitizer or antibacterial hand gel is really going to help prevent the spread of the flu one thing if for sure. The new school term is already seeing increases in manufacturers of antibacterial gels increase. One company has already reported an increase of over 55 % over the last week which they directly relate to the new school term.

Over the summer there have been a lot of news stories about swine flu, using antibacterial sanitizers in churches and public places like in supermarkets and people are worried that close human contact associated with the new school term like hand shaking hugging, holding hands and kissing will see a rise in the number of people affected by the virus. So much so that it has created a buying surge from concerned parents.

Extra caution is being taken to be sure schools are particularly clean and prepared when the students return to school this fall. With concerns about a more potent round of swine flu arriving, officials are concerned that outbreaks can happen and schools are potential hotbeds.

The extremely contagious strain of flu is expected to spread more rapidly in a highly concentrated area, as it did at summer camps throughout the summer. A worst-case scenario developed by the Centers for Disease Control anticipates that 40 percent of the country may be infected this fall.

Health officials warned school administrators across the nation last week that student absentee rates from swine flu might reach 30 percent. Parents should send their kids off for the first day of school with hand sanitizer and instructions to wash their hands often with soap and water and avoid touching their faces, which spreads germs.

Health guidelines suggest that students and staff with flu like symptoms stay home for at least 24hours after they no longer have a fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines. High-risk people, including those who are pregnant or have asthma or diabetes, should contact doctors immediately if they become ill.

The first step in detecting the flu is to evaluate the person for common symptoms, which include a fever of 100 degrees or more, cough or sore throat, body aches, headache, runny nose, chills, fatigue, diarrhea or vomiting.

Health departments are preparing the H1N1 seasonal flu vaccines for early September. Public health department clinics, community clinics, doctor’s offices and some pharmacy and retail chains will carry the single-dose vaccine, either a shot or nasal spray.


Churches use Antibacterial Hand Gel to stop the spread of Swine Flu

Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer swine flu hand shake ban
Churches in York are removing holy water, asking people not to shake hands during services and using antibacterial hand gel in an attempt to combat the spread of swine flu.

Changes have been made to some Roman Catholic Masses across the city after a meeting of bishops in London saw a raft of guidelines drawn up to keep parishioners safe from catching the virus.

This has also seen priests at the denomination’s York churches advised not to administer wine during communion and to only place hosts in people’s hands rather than directly into their mouths.

Many of the city’s eight Roman Catholic churches have also decided to alter the sign of peace – a segment of services where worshippers shake hands – to avoid the possibility of swine flu being passed on in this way.

Last month, the archbishops of York and Canterbury also sent out recommendations to Church of England institutions, which included asking ministers to dip communion wafers into the wine themselves before placing them in the hands of churchgoers and making sure their hands were properly washed beforehand.

The changes to Roman Catholic services have now been outlined during services, and Dr Jim Whiston, spokesman for the Diocese of Middlesbrough – which includes York – said: “This advice came from a bishops’ conference in London recently, which had taken the views of medical experts.

“Swine flu is clearly something we have to take very seriously and, although it is not an instruction and it is down to individual churches to decide what they do, most churches seem to be taking it up and the advice will continue to be issued for as long as is necessary.

“It involves suggesting that communion hosts are placed in the hands of the recipient rather than the tongue and only distributing communion under one kind – without wine – asking people to bow to each other rather than shake hands at the sign of peace and removing the holy water parishioners use to bless themselves.”

The latest figures on swine flu’s impact on North Yorkshire are expected to be released by health chiefs tomorrow.

Last week, The Press revealed 15 patients had been admitted to York Hospital with suspected swine flu, but only one actually had the virus, while extra collection points for antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu were being set up, bringing the number around the region to 42.

WORSHIPPERS at one of York’s biggest churches will be taking communion in a new way from now on, to help combat swine flu.

The clergy at St Michael le Belfrey Church, in Minster Yard, are changing their style, in line with advice from the archbishops of York and Canterbury.

They will be using communion wafers instead of bread, and are to stop using the communal communion cup.

Instead, those assisting with communion will use an antibacterial gel before they start, and will then dip a wafer into the chalice, before handing it to the worshipper with the words “the body and blood of Jesus”.

Mark Rance, the church’s head of operations, said: “In doing this, we hope that we will be able to play our part in helping to stop the spread of the flu virus, while still being able to offer communion to all those who want to receive.”

Source: http://www.thepress.co.uk


Purell with Aloe Instant Hand Sanitizer

Purell with Aloe Instant Hand SanitizerPurell with Aloe Instant Hand Sanitizer Product Description
Kills 99.99% of the most common germs that may cause illness.
Use anytime, anyplace, without water or towels.

Contains aloe and vitamin E and leaves hands feeling soft and smooth.
Leaves hands feeling refreshed without a sticky residue.

Available in: 8 fl. oz. (236 mL), 2 fl. oz. (59 mL)
Directions wet hands thoroughly with product briskly rub hands together until dry supervise children in the use of this product

Other information store at 20° to 25° C (68° to 77° F) may discolor certain fabrics

Inactive ingredients
water, isopropyl alcohol, glycerin, carbomer, aminomethyl propanol, fragrance, propylene glycol, isopropyl myristate, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, tocopheryl acetate, FD&C yellow no. 5 (tartrazine), FD&C blue no. 1

Active ingredient Purpose Ethyl Alcohol 65%Antiseptic Uses for handwashing to decrease bacteria on the skin recommended for repeated use

Warnings For external use only. Flammable, keep away from fire or flame. Do not use in the eyes. In case of contact, rinse eyes thoroughly with water. Stop use and ask a doctor if irritation and redness develop and persist for more than 72 hours. Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.

Purell Hand Sanitizer

Purell Hand Sanitizer Product DescriptionPurell Instant Hand Sanitizer

Kills 99.99% of the most common germs that may cause illness. Use anytime, anyplace, without water or towels.Leaves hands feeling refreshed without a sticky residue.

Available in:
8 fl. oz. (236 mL), 2 fl. oz. (59 mL), 1 fl. oz. (30 mL)

wet hands thoroughly with product
briskly rub hands together until dry
supervise children in the use of this product

Other information
store at 20° to 25° C (68° to 77° F)
may discolor certain fabrics

Inactive ingredients
water, isopropyl alcohol, glycerin, carbomer, fragrance, aminomethyl propanol, propylene glycol, isopropyl myristate, tocopheryl acetate

Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer Facts

Purell Hand Sanitizers
Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer facts where compliled from the Purell information regarding the spread of germs such as the Swine Flu. On Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer you will also find information about the Purell Products, reviews and opinions of customers as well as your hand sanitizer team and don't forget if you want an independant opinion of any antibacterial hand sanitizer brand then be sure to let us know and we will take a look into it for you.

So here are the Pirell Instant Hand Sanitizer facts.
SKILLMAN, NJ - Major health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommend that hand washing and - when soap and water may not be available - hand sanitizing with an alcohol-based rub (like PURELL Instant Hand Sanitizer) are critical to minimize the spread of germs during illness outbreaks, such as the Swine Flu.

Is PURELL Instant Hand Sanitizer active against Swine Flu?
While no hand sanitizer is indicated to prevent Swine Flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the ways you can help protect yourself from Swine Flu is by practicing good hand hygiene. Specific CDC recommendations include keeping your hands clean by washing with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water may not be available, such as when you're on the go.

How do most infectious diseases spread?
According to the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH), the hands are one of the most frequent transmission routes for many types of infections as they come into direct contact with known portals of entry for pathogens (mouth, nose, conjunctiva of the eyes). Therefore, practicing proper hand hygiene is the easiest way to help reduce infections. Another way that some infections can spread is through the air, which is why it is important to cover your mouth with a tissue when you sneeze.

What is the proper way to practice hand hygiene?
Use soap and water, especially when hands are visibly dirty. Wash hands with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds.

When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Apply enough product to thoroughly wet hands, then rub hands together briskly until dry.

How does PURELL Instant Hand Sanitizer work?
PURELL Instant Hand Sanitizer has a unique formulation of 65% alcohol with a special blend of moisturizers to kill germs on hands and leave them feeling soft and refreshed. The alcohol breaks down the germs' cell walls causing them to die. When applied to hands it evaporates within seconds. According to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Guidelines for Infection Control Practice, "alcohols applied to the skin are among the safest known antiseptics."

Do alcohol-based hand sanitizers like PURELL lead to resistant bacteria?
Laboratory testing has never shown alcohol-based hand sanitizers like PURELL lead to bacterial resistance. There is no evidence that organisms adapt and become immune to alcohol based hand sanitizers.

Do you have enough PURELL products available to consumers?
We are committed to providing optimal distribution of the product to meet the increasing need and demand, particularly in areas where cases of illness outbreaks have been reported.


Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer Moisture Therapy

PURELL Instant Hand Sanitizer Moisture Therapy
PURELL Instant Hand Sanitizer Moisture Therapy Product Description
Sanitizes and Moisturizes in One.

Available in:

8 FL OZ (236mL)

wet hands thoroughly with product
briskly rub hands together until dry
supervise children in the use of this product

Other information
store at 20° to 25° C (68° to 77° F)
may discolor certain fabrics

Inactive ingredients
water, glycerin, isopropyl alcohol, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, animomethyl propanol, fragrance, titanium dioxide, alumina, isopropyl myristate

Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer: 27 UK Swine Flu Cases Confirmed

Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer: 27 UK Swine Flu Cases Confirmed

Swine Flu | Swine Influenza

What is Swine Influenza?

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs. Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930.

How many swine flu viruses are there?

Like all influenza viruses, swine flu viruses change constantly. Pigs can be infected by avian influenza and human influenza viruses as well as swine influenza viruses. When influenza viruses from different species infect pigs, the viruses can reassort (i.e. swap genes) and new viruses that are a mix of swine, human and/or avian influenza viruses can emerge. Over the years, different variations of swine flu viruses have emerged. At this time, there are four main influenza type A virus subtypes that have been isolated in pigs: H1N1, H1N2, H3N2, and H3N1. However, most of the recently isolated influenza viruses from pigs have been H1N1 viruses.

Swine Flu in Humans

Can humans catch swine flu?

Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, sporadic human infections with swine flu have occurred. Most commonly, these cases occur in persons with direct exposure to pigs (e.g. children near pigs at a fair or workers in the swine industry). In addition, there have been documented cases of one person spreading swine flu to others. For example, an outbreak of apparent swine flu infection in pigs in Wisconsin in 1988 resulted in multiple human infections, and, although no community outbreak resulted, there was antibody evidence of virus transmission from the patient to health care workers who had close contact with the patient.

How common is swine flu infection in humans?

In the past, CDC received reports of approximately one human swine influenza virus infection every one to two years in the U.S., but from December 2005 through February 2009, 12 cases of human infection with swine influenza have been reported.
What are the symptoms of swine flu in humans?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Can people catch swine flu from eating pork?

No. Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You can not get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160°F kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.

How does swine flu spread?

Influenza viruses can be directly transmitted from pigs to people and from people to pigs. Human infection with flu viruses from pigs are most likely to occur when people are in close proximity to infected pigs, such as in pig barns and livestock exhibits housing pigs at fairs. Human-to-human transmission of swine flu can also occur. This is thought to occur in the same way as seasonal flu occurs in people, which is mainly person-to-person transmission through coughing or sneezing of people infected with the influenza virus. People may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

What do we know about human-to-human spread of swine flu?
In September 1988, a previously healthy 32-year-old pregnant woman was hospitalized for pneumonia and died 8 days later. A swine H1N1 flu virus was detected. Four days before getting sick, the patient visited a county fair swine exhibition where there was widespread influenza-like illness among the swine.

In follow-up studies, 76% of swine exhibitors tested had antibody evidence of swine flu infection but no serious illnesses were detected among this group. Additional studies suggest that one to three health care personnel who had contact with the patient developed mild influenza-like illnesses with antibody evidence of swine flu infection.

How can human infections with swine influenza be diagnosed?
To diagnose swine influenza A infection, a respiratory specimen would generally need to be collected within the first 4 to 5 days of illness (when an infected person is most likely to be shedding virus). However, some persons, especially children, may shed virus for 10 days or longer. Identification as a swine flu influenza A virus requires sending the specimen to CDC for laboratory testing.

What medications are available to treat swine flu infections in humans?
There are four different antiviral drugs that are licensed for use in the US for the treatment of influenza: amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir and zanamivir. While most swine influenza viruses have been susceptible to all four drugs, the most recent swine influenza viruses isolated from humans are resistant to amantadine and rimantadine. At this time, CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine influenza viruses.

What other examples of swine flu outbreaks are there?
Probably the most well known is an outbreak of swine flu among soldiers in Fort Dix, New Jersey in 1976. The virus caused disease with x-ray evidence of pneumonia in at least 4 soldiers and 1 death; all of these patients had previously been healthy. The virus was transmitted to close contacts in a basic training environment, with limited transmission outside the basic training group. The virus is thought to have circulated for a month and disappeared. The source of the virus, the exact time of its introduction into Fort Dix, and factors limiting its spread and duration are unknown. The Fort Dix outbreak may have been caused by introduction of an animal virus into a stressed human population in close contact in crowded facilities during the winter. The swine influenza A virus collected from a Fort Dix soldier was named A/New Jersey/76 (Hsw1N1).

Is the H1N1 swine flu virus the same as human H1N1 viruses?
No. The H1N1 swine flu viruses are antigenically very different from human H1N1 viruses and, therefore, vaccines for human seasonal flu would not provide protection from H1N1 swine flu viruses.

Swine Flu in Pigs

How does swine flu spread among pigs?

Swine flu viruses are thought to be spread mostly through close contact among pigs and possibly from contaminated objects moving between infected and uninfected pigs. Herds with continuous swine flu infections and herds that are vaccinated against swine flu may have sporadic disease, or may show only mild or no symptoms of infection.

What are signs of swine flu in pigs?
Signs of swine flu in pigs can include sudden onset of fever, depression, coughing (barking), discharge from the nose or eyes, sneezing, breathing difficulties, eye redness or inflammation, and going off feed.

How common is swine flu among pigs?
H1N1 and H3N2 swine flu viruses are endemic among pig populations in the United States and something that the industry deals with routinely. Outbreaks among pigs normally occur in colder weather months (late fall and winter) and sometimes with the introduction of new pigs into susceptible herds. Studies have shown that the swine flu H1N1 is common throughout pig populations worldwide, with 25 percent of animals showing antibody evidence of infection. In the U.S. studies have shown that 30 percent of the pig population has antibody evidence of having had H1N1 infection. More specifically, 51 percent of pigs in the north-central U.S. have been shown to have antibody evidence of infection with swine H1N1. Human infections with swine flu H1N1 viruses are rare. There is currently no way to differentiate antibody produced in response to flu vaccination in pigs from antibody made in response to pig infections with swine H1N1 influenza.

While H1N1 swine viruses have been known to circulate among pig populations since at least 1930, H3N2 influenza viruses did not begin circulating among US pigs until 1998. The H3N2 viruses initially were introduced into the pig population from humans. The current swine flu H3N2 viruses are closely related to human H3N2 viruses.

Is there a vaccine for swine flu?
Vaccines are available to be given to pigs to prevent swine influenza. There is no vaccine to protect humans from swine flu. The seasonal influenza vaccine will likely help provide partial protection against swine H3N2, but not swine H1N1 viruses.


Antibacterial Hand Sanitizers Do they work?

What started out as an informal classroom experiment at East Tennessee State University has turned up disturbing evidence about some alcohol-based instant hand sanitizers — the antiseptic gels and foams that have become popular as a quick way to disinfect hands when soap and water aren't available.

FOR GENERAL USE Some sanitizers can be a good supplement to soap and water.

Many such sanitizers — whether a brand name or a generic version — work well, and are increasingly found in hallway dispensers in hospitals, schools, day care centers and even atop the gangways of cruise ships as one more safeguard against the hand-to-mouth spread of disease. Several studies from such settings have shown that use of the alcohol-based rubs on hands that aren't visibly soiled seems particularly helpful in curbing the spread of bad stomach and intestinal bugs.

But a study published in this month's issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases found that at least one brand of sanitizer found on store shelves, as well as some recipes for homemade versions circulating on Web sites about crafts or directed at parents, contain significantly less than the 60 percent minimum alcohol concentration that health officials deem necessary to kill most harmful bacteria and viruses.

"What this should say to the consumer is that they need to look carefully at the label before they buy any of these products," said Elaine Larson, professor of pharmaceutical and therapeutic research at Columbia's nursing school. "Check the bottle for active ingredients. It might say ethyl alcohol, ethanol, isopropanol or some other variation, and those are all fine. But make sure that whichever of those alcohols is listed, its concentration is between 60 and 95 percent. Less than that isn't enough."

Scott Reynolds, a specialist in infection control at the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Mountain Home, Tenn., discovered the problem inadvertently, in the course of giving a simple demonstration on the merits of hand washing to a friend's class of biology students at nearby East Tennessee State.

Mr. Reynolds had the students place their hands on agar plates of growth medium before and after one of several experimental conditions: rubbing their hands briskly under tap water; sudsing with hospital-grade soap and then rinsing with water; or rubbing their hands with a dollop of one of two types of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The sanitizers used were a foam version from the hospital that contained 62 percent ethanol, and a gel version Mr. Reynolds's wife bought at a local discount store.

The next day, much to Mr. Reynolds's surprise, the culture plates from hands doused and rubbed with the store-bought gel were covered with clumps of bacteria that had, in some cases, formed a visible outline of the student's handprint on the plate.

Only when he flipped the bottle around to read the label on the back did Mr. Reynolds see that the gel's active ingredient was "40 percent ethyl alcohol."

"Otherwise, it looked like all the rest you see in the store," he said. "Same price. Same claims. Same pump bottle."

In a more formal follow-up study, Mr. Reynolds and two colleagues replicated the results, and confirmed that the lack of sufficient alcohol was to blame. If anything, he said, the faulty gel seemed to mobilize the bacteria, spreading them around the hand instead of killing them.

Allison Aiello, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan who has studied the use and relative effectiveness of alcohol-based gels and antibacterial soaps by consumers as well as hospital workers, said she wasn't surprised by Mr. Reynolds's results from the low-alcohol sanitizer, but she was concerned to read that such a product was on the market.

"I used to work in a virology lab," Dr. Aiello said, "and we knew — it has been known for decades — that an alcohol concentration under 60 percent won't kill the microbes. It's really frightening to think that there are products out there that contain levels lower than that."

Sometimes much lower. One recipe Mr. Reynolds and his colleagues discovered on the Internet for a bubble gum-scented sanitizer aimed at children called for half a -cup of aloe vera gel and a quarter cup of 99 percent rubbing alcohol, with a bit of fragrance. That translates to a concentration of roughly 33 percent alcohol, Dr. Aiello said.

Since 2002, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that health care workers routinely use high quality alcohol-based gels instead of soap and water on their hands when moving from patient to patient — as long the worker's hands aren't visibly soiled.

Alcohol doesn't cut through grime well, so dirt, blood, feces or other body fluids or soil must be wiped or washed away first, if the alcohol in the sanitizer is to be effective. In such cases, hand washing with soap and water is advised.

In October 2005, a committee appointed by the Food and Drug Administration met to discuss, among other things, whether consumers should also be encouraged to use the alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Dr. Tammy Lundstrom, representing the nonprofit Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, argued that they should. The committee's decision is expected this month.

"About 60 percent of surgery these days is outpatient," Dr. Lundstrom said last week in a phone interview. "We have so many people caring for ill family members at home. Maybe you're without running water because of a hurricane or blackout, or you've got a bad hip and can't move easily to get to the sink as often as you should to wash your hands. What about after you sneeze in the car, or stop to put in contact lenses?"

In all those cases, she said, alcohol-based hand sanitizers — of the correct formulation — could be a godsend, not to replace soap and water, but as an important supplement.

Dr. Aiello sees even more potential uses in the office. "Studies show that the computer keyboard, the phone receiver, and the desk are worse than the bathroom in terms of micro-organisms," she said. "Washing with plain old soap and water should be your first choice. But if you're stuck between meetings and about to grab lunch at your desk, or just use somebody else's keyboard, using a hand sanitizer before and after could be a really good idea."

How much goop should you use? Vigorously rub all sides of your hands with enough antibacterial hand gel or foam to get them wet, and rub them together until they are dry. If your hands are dry within 10 or 15 seconds, according to the C.D.C. guidelines for health care workers, you haven't used enough.

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Published: March 21, 2006

27 UK Swine Flu Cases Confirmed

A further nine cases of swine flu have been confirmed in England, taking the total number of cases in the UK to 27. A school in London has been closed as a precaution. For parents concerned about their child's welfare, follow the 'advice for parents' link below.

New swine flu cases in England

Nine new cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the UK – one in the West Midlands and eight in London.

There are now 27 confirmed cases in the UK – 23 in England and four in Scotland. Seven of the nine cases appear to have been acquired through person-to-person spread.

Two of the new cases are adults, one from London and the other West Midlands. Both of these people had recently returned from Mexico.

Two cases are siblings of school age in London. Both had been in close contact with a previously confirmed case in a returned traveller to the US.

London school closed

Five further cases are of school age from London. These five all attend one school. As a precautionary measure the school will remain closed following the bank holiday weekend, initially for seven consecutive days.

All pupils at the school are being offered anti viral drugs as a precautionary measure. There is no need for these individuals to qurentine themselves from the community unless they show symptoms.

The five cases attend the same school as a pupil who had recently returned from the US and has already been confirmed with swine flu. During investigations into this case, as an extra precaution, pupils in the same year who were off school because they were feeling unwell - irrespective of symptoms - at the end of last week, were followed up by local health protection experts and assessed for flu-like symptoms. These investigations resulted in five pupils being confirmed with swine flu.

Those who are still unwell are receiving anti-viral treatment and are recovering at home. The Health Protection Agency is working to ensure that any close contacts of these cases are offered antivirals as a precautionary measure.

Alcoholic Hand Gel and Swine Flu

Although alcohol is not something known to be good for us, let alone something which protects us from bad consequences, in the case of hand gel it does just this. Not only is it entirely safe for your body, but a product which contains alcohol is far superior at cleaning hands than one without, which is evident by the fact that it is used in hospitals. There is no need to accompany it with any other type of soap as it does all the work itself and shouldn’t dry out your hands.

We all have millions of germs on our hands at any one time, some very dangerous such as swine flu and as the numbers of people contracting swine flu increases and is set to grow fast in the coming months, it is imperative that people are diligent about keeping themselves clean. Touching hands and surfaces which people’s hands have been on is the most common way in which germs are spread. It is not easy to protect yourself or your loved ones from other people’s germs as you cannot be responsible for other people, however you can for yourself. By carrying an alcoholic hand gel and using it frequently, you are doing the best thing possible to protect yourself as alcoholic hand gels are capable of killing up to 99.999% of bad bacteria. Whether you feel threatened or not, it is a worthwhile precaution to own some hand gel in case somebody within your own family or workplace becomes ill.

When looking for a hand gel, it is important not just to make sure that it contains alcohol, but that it is classified as non hazardous and has also passed all the appropriate tests, such as the bacterial activity test, and is approved by the reputable organisations such as the Food and Drug administration and Health and Safety Executive. It is also safer to the environment if it is biodegradable. If you can obtain this sort of information from a package, a website, or the distributor them self, then you can be confident that you are using a completely safe product. You can find some good brands online, such as germ warfare which is a leader in distributing alcoholic hand gel to homes and companies nationally.

Alcoholic hand gel is a big step towards making sure that you are doing all that you can to stay clean and germ free. It is inexpensive and can save you from worrying about your own safety and that of your family.

Article by Mike


What is Antibacterial Hand Gel ?

Well stating the obvious first is it's an antibacterial hand gel or hand sanitizer which does not require water for it to work. Inaddition it drys quickly without the need of towels making it a perfect product for the traveller or people on the move that want to protect against bacteria and germs.

The good products on the market will kills 99.9% of bacteriabe fast drying, non-sticky and the really good ones have added moisturisers and purfumes added.

The Smell - in the packaging it smells of alcohol. A lot of people are put off by this first impression and think that there is now way that they can put this hand sanatizer on their hands. however what you will find is that after squeezing a drop onto your hands and rubbing it in the smell of alcohol disapears and you get the smell of what ever purfume has been included. Strawberry, Lemon, Aloe Vera, melon etc.

The unique properties of the hand gel is that inside the bottle or tube the gel is quite thick but as soon as it have been put on to your hands the gel very quickly becomes runny and allows you to rub into your hands. Drying should only take about 20 seconds.

If are moisturisers are included then your hands should be left feeling silky and smooth.

Inside we will take a look at serveral Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer products on the market and give you our opinions on them as we try each of them out.