Soap and water key to halting spread of viruses, study says

Share this content:

Handwashing may be more potent against germs than previously thought, a new study finds.

Handwashing as well as wearing masks, gloves and gowns, may be more effective than drugs to prevent the spread of the flu, SARS, and other respiratory viruses, according to findings published in the British Medical Journal.

Researchers looked at 51 studies comparing interventions to prevent the spread of viruses. While effective individually in preventing the spread of respiratory viruses, handwashing and wearing masks, gloves and gowns were even more effective when combined.