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School-Age Children, Pregnant Women and Health Care Workers: Take Swine Flu Precautions by Washing with Cleanser that Kills Virus for Up to Six Hours
Date:8/12/2009

NORCROSS, Ga., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcing the potential for an unusual number of serious illnesses in school-age children (ages 5-24) and pregnant women from the H1N1 virus (swine flu)(i,ii), washing hands with soap that can kill the virus immediately and continue to kill it for up to six hours could mean the difference between getting swine flu or avoiding it, especially before a vaccine is expected to be available in mid-October.

As with other flu viruses, the swine flu is spread via contact with infected droplets or surfaces followed by contact with a person's eyes, nose or mouth.(iii) Frequent hand washing with soap or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (when no sink is available) will kill or remove the virus. However, the challenge is washing consistently after touching any surface such as a door handle, chair or desk or any person that could have been exposed to the virus. Cleansers that contain 4 percent chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bond to the skin and continue to actively kill germs for up to six hours.(iv) That's almost an entire school or work day.

CHG offers better protection between washings, even if you are able to wash your hands frequently. Two over-the-counter brands that contain 4 percent CHG are Hibiclens(R) skin cleanser and Hibistat(R) individual wipes. Hibiclens and Hibistat have specifically been tested against a strain of the swine flu virus similar to the one that is currently causing illness in the community.(v) Since these strains are of the same virus family, these products will effectively kill both types of flu virus for up to six hours.

For moms, the swine flu is a major concern since both children and pregnant women are part of the high-risk groups. CDC says pregnant women have higher rates of hospitalization and a greater risk of death compared to
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SOURCE Molnlycke Health Care
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