Effectiveness of handwashing in preventing SARS: a review

Fung, ICH; Cairncross, S; (2006) Effectiveness of handwashing in preventing SARS: a review. Tropical medicine & international health, 11 (11). pp. 1749-58. ISSN 1360-2276 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2006.01734.x

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This review examines the literature, including literature in Chinese, on the effectiveness of handwashing as an intervention against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) transmission. Nine of 10 epidemiological studies reviewed showed that handwashing was protective against SARS when comparing infected cases and non-infected controls in univariate analysis, but only in three studies was this result statistically significant in multivariate analysis. There is reason to believe that this is because most of the studies were too small. The evidence for the effectiveness of handwashing as a measure against SARS transmission in health care and community settings is suggestive, but not conclusive.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: severe acute respiratory syndrome, handwashing, hygiene, communicable, disease control, public health intervention, ACUTE-RESPIRATORY-SYNDROME, HEALTH-CARE WORKERS, HAND SANITIZER USE, HONG-KONG, AIRBORNE TRANSMISSION, HOSPITAL WORKERS, CONTROLLED-TRIAL, RESIDENCE HALLS, RISK-FACTORS, OUTBREAK, Case-Control Studies, China, Cross Infection, prevention & control, Handwashing, Hong Kong, Humans, Logistic Models, Multivariate Analysis, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, prevention & control, Singapore
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
PubMed ID: 17054756
Web of Science ID: 241407400016
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/10495


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