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Facts About Hand Sanitizers as Public Concerns Over the Swine Flu Increase

SKILLMAN, N.J., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- 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(R) Instant Hand Sanitizer) are critical to minimize the spread of germs during illness outbreaks, such as the Swine Flu.

The makers of PURELL(R) Instant Hand Sanitizer have compiled these important public health messages:

Is PURELL(R) 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(R) Instant Hand Sanitizer work?

PURELL(R) 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(R) lead to resistant bacteria?

Laboratory testing has never shown alcohol-based hand sanitizers like PURELL(R) lead to bacterial resistance. There is no evidence that organisms adapt and become immune to alcohol based hand sanitizers.

Do you have enough PURELL(R) 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.

For more information, go to or or

As the brand trusted and used by hospitals every day and the #1 doctor recommended brand, PURELL(R) Instant Hand Sanitizer products are marketed by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company Division of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.

*Note: Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and its affiliated companies are not affiliated with the CDC and IFH.

**Product images available upon request

    Edwige Buteau

SOURCE Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.
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