Monday, August 30, 2010

Alcohol-based hand cleaners shown to reduce common infections and number of workdays lost was named the “Best News for Prevention” while the risky behavior of driving with pets was named the “Worst News for Prevention.”


Hand Cleansers Cut Absenteeism

Putting alcohol-based hand cleansers in work places slashed the incidence of several common infections and reduced the number of workdays lost, a randomized trial showed.

Access to the disinfectants was associated with odds ratios of 0.35 to 0.45 (P<0.05) for reported colds, fevers, and coughs in an unblinded trial with 129 participants, according to Nils-Olaf Hübner, MD, of the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine in Greifswald, Germany, and colleagues.

The researchers also found that putting disinfectants on employees' desks helped reduce absenteeism. The effect was modest overall, but workdays lost because of diarrhea were cut dramatically, they reported in the online open-access journal BMC Infectious Diseases.


Study: Driving under influence of pets a danger

Safety experts have a new pet peeve related to distracted driving. In addition to texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, lap dogs and other pets left unrestrained inside moving vehicles pose a major distraction that could be deadly, a new study released Wednesday warns motorists.

About two-thirds of dog owners surveyed by the AAA organization said they routinely drive while petting or playing with their dogs, sometimes even giving them food or water while maneuvering through traffic.

It has been a common sight for many years to see dogs hanging their heads out of open car windows with their ears flapping in the breeze. But in the cocoon that the automobile has become, more drivers are nonchalantly cradling their dogs atop their laps or perching the animals on their chests with the pet's front paws clutching the driver's neck or shoulders. It's risky behavior for the driver and dangerous for the pets, too.

The “Best and Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. "Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention. More information is available at


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