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HAND WASHING AND RESPIRATORY ILLNESS AMONG YOUNG ADULTS IN MILITARY TRAINING

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Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: January 2002 - Volume 11 - Issue 1 - p 42
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HAND WASHING AND RESPIRATORY ILLNESS AMONG YOUNG ADULTS IN MILITARY TRAINING

[Ryan MAK et al. Am J Prev Med 2001;21:79]:

The authors examine the utility of a simple hand-washing program in a Navy training center to determine benefit in reducing respiratory illnesses before and after implementation. Analysis of over one million person-weeks reviewed showed a 45% reduction in outpatient visits for respiratory infections after implementation of the hand-washing program. In addition, there was a correlation between this reduction and the frequency of hand washing within the period of hand washing emphasis.

Comment.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that hand contact is probably the most important mechanism of transmission of common respiratory tract viruses. This study is an important reminder of this simple preventive method and is particularly appropriate as we get further into the influenza season.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.