Is your hand sanitizer FAILING?
Nothing’s quite as good as saving money, but saving time is probably a close second.
Folks these days will cut any corner they can to save a minute or two. You can even use an app to pre-order coffee so that you don’t have to wait the TWO MINUTES it takes for the guy behind the counter to pour your cup.
And why spent a minute or two washing your hands with soap, water, and a good scrub when you can kill the germs in 5 seconds with a quick squirt of hand sanitizer?
Well, friend, I won’t tell you how to get your coffee.
But I will suggest that you wash your hands thoroughly -- with soap, water, and a good scrubbing -- whenever you can.
It’s worth the extra minute, as new research shows how soap and water could prevent a terrible illness and maybe even SAVE your life!
The clever little microbes that cause illness used to drop dead at the very sight of the alcohol in hand sanitizer.
Now, the new study finds that at least one germ, the Enterococcus faecium that’s already resistant to many antibiotics, has learned to withstand alcohol.
That means you could get sick even after “washing” your hands with sanitizer. (Especially if you just went “Number Two.”)
On its own, Enterococcus faecium is a common germ found in the gut (and your stool sample) -- and often, it won’t hurt you.
But if you’re already getting weak or have immune problems, this poop bug can lead to everything from bloodstream infections to UTIs and more.
It’s a top-10 cause of hospital infections worldwide, and it kills more than 1,000 American patients every year.
This was a study on a single germ found in hospitals, where bacteria are often stronger and more dangerous, but don’t expect them to stay there… and definitely don’t expect this resistance to be limited to any single type of bacteria.
It could spread, both to other germs AND outside of hospitals!
And that means that people could get sick – VERY sick – or even die without ever setting foot inside a hospital.
I won’t say to never use sanitizer. It’s certainly better than not cleaning your hands at all, and it comes in handy when you’re out and about (especially during flu season).
But don’t depend on it, because not only are some germs learning to resist the alcohol (as the new study shows)… but there are others out there that were never even bothered by it in the first place.
C. diff, for example, can handle sanitizer… but like Enterococcus faecium and other germs, it can’t handle soap and water.
If there is a bathroom handy, take an extra minute to lather up and scrub away the germs. It’s well worth the extra time.