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Gross Germ-Spreading Behaviors Remain the Norm, Despite Flu Season Concerns
Date:10/8/2009

The Water Quality and Health Council Calls for Greater Surface Disinfection to Combat Bad Hygiene

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Do you cough without covering your mouth while standing in the lunch line? Or sneeze loudly into the air when squeezed onto the morning bus? Nearly all Americans (96 percent) have seen you do things like this -- and a shocking three quarters (77 percent) say they are guilty themselves.

Even with heightened concerns during this year's flu season, Americans admit that sleeves are a fine substitute for tissues: one in four wipes their nose on them. One in ten is even more gross: skipping sleeves altogether in favor of hands to wipe their nose and then... extending for a handshake or reaching for a door handle.

So, what are we doing about it? In a recent survey by the Water Quality and Health Council, Americans come clean; we're not doing much. Despite constant warnings from health officials and a recent Risk Analysis study showing a 31 percent chance of infection through hand contact with contaminated surfaces, few Americans frequently clean the public surfaces they use. At the same time, not many have faith that others are cleaning them either:

  • Just one in ten believes surfaces at the mall or on public transit are disinfected regularly;
  • Fewer than half think restaurant staff is disinfecting tables;
  • Less than a third feel confident that school surfaces are properly sterilized.

Regardless of this, just one in ten is inclined to do the job themselves. In fact, as opposed to wiping down the surfaces they come in contact with, a whopping 42 percent of Americans are opting to avoid public spaces altogether.

But staying home isn't the answer. Taking control of your environment is. "Knowing that flu viruses can live on inanimate surfaces for hours or even days should motivate
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SOURCE The Water Quality & Health Council
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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