Study: Bump Beats Shake for Germ Control
To reduce the spread of germs, at least in hospitals, a new article argues for bumping fists instead of shaking hands. Researchers worked in pairs. Both put on a pair of new, germ-free (sterile) gloves for each experiment. One person dipped a glove into a solution containing E. coli bacteria. The researchers bumped fists. Then they removed the gloves so the germs on the formerly sterile glove could be measured. Using different gloves, they tried the same experiment with two other greetings: handshaking and "high fives" (slapping palms together). Handshaking transferred 10 times as many germs as a fist bump and twice as many as a "high five." The Journal of the American Medical Association recently called for banning handshakes in hospitals. The new findings appear in the American Journal of Infection Control. HealthDay News wrote about them July 28.