A quantitative evaluation of three hand drying methods and the potential for dissemination of virus particles into the environment

Kimmitt, P.T. and Redway, K. 2015. A quantitative evaluation of three hand drying methods and the potential for dissemination of virus particles into the environment. Society for General Microbiology. Birmingham 01 Apr 2015

TitleA quantitative evaluation of three hand drying methods and the potential for dissemination of virus particles into the environment
AuthorsKimmitt, P.T. and Redway, K.
TypeConference poster
Abstract

The importance of hand hygiene in reducing the spread of pathogens has been long established and this has been highlighted recently in initiatives such as the NHS’s ‘clean your hands’ campaign. However, much of the focus on hand hygiene has concerned effective hand washing; there has been less emphasis on hand drying and its role in hygienic practices. This study aimed to compare three hand drying methods namely paper towels, a warm air dryer and a jet air dryer for their relative ability to disseminate virus particles into the washroom environment during hand drying. A bacteriophage model was used to compare these methods; hands were artificially contaminated with MS2 phage and dried using each device. Both air sampling and contact plates were assessed and a plaque assay was used to quantify virus dissemination. Samples were collected at set times, heights, angles and distances around each device. Both air sampling and contact plate results indicated that the jet air dryer produced significantly more virus dispersal than either paper towels or the warm air dryer in terms of quantity, distance travelled and the time spent circulating in the air around the device and potentially in the washroom environment.

Year2015
ConferenceSociety for General Microbiology
Accepted author manuscriptKimmitt_Redway_Poster_SGM15.pdf

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