Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers as a risk factor for norovirus outbreaks in long-term care facilities in northern New England: December 2006 to March 2007

Source: David D. Blaney, Elizabeth R. Daly, Kathryn B. Kirkland, Jon Eric Tongren, Patsy Tassler Kelso, Elizabeth A. Talbot, AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control, Volume 39, Issue 4, May 2011
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From the abstract:
During December 2006 to March 2007, a substantial increase in norovirus illnesses was noted in northern New England. We sought to identify institutional risk factors for norovirus outbreaks in northern New England long-term care facilities (LTCFs)….State health departments in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont distributed surveys to infection preventionists at all LTCFs in their respective states. We collected information regarding facility attributes, routine staff use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer (ABHS) versus soap and water, facility cleaning practices, and occurrence of any acute gastroenteritis outbreaks during December 2006 to March 2007. Norovirus confirmation was conducted in public health laboratories. Data were analyzed with univariate and logistic regression methods…This study suggests that preferential use of ABHS over soap and water for routine hand hygiene might be associated with increased risk of norovirus outbreaks in LTCFs.

See also:
Hand Sanitizers May Actually Cause Outbreaks Of Norovirus
Source: Joseph Nordqvist, Medical News Today, 15 Aug 2011

Hand sanitizer no substitute for hand-washing: Study
Source: Derek Abma, Montreal Gazette, August 10, 2011

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