A new study found up to a 75 percent reduction in flu-like illness over the study period with hand hygiene and surgical masks, said Allison Aiello, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
The Journal Public Library of Science ONE reports that the results from years of study found no significant reduction in symptoms in mask use alone, which suggests masks and hand hygiene should be used together.
More than 1,000 students were used in this research from the Michigan school of Public Health in residence halls. They were assigned to groups who work masks, another group that wore masks and washed hands properly, and the last group that did neither. The study was launched in 2006 and lasted 2 years. Students in both studies were asked to wear masks in the residence halls for six hours per day and clean their hands with an alcohol based hand sanitizer in addition to soap and water hand washing.
This method of wearing surgical masks and proper hand washing could be the first line of defense in avoiding a pandemic. Vaccines may not be available for the newest flu pandemic to hit immediately.
Will your hospital or medical office be prepared for the next flu pandemic?