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Prev Med. 2012 Jun;54(6):434-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.04.009. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

Effectiveness of hand hygiene and provision of information in preventing influenza cases requiring hospitalization.

Author information

1
Departament de Salut, Generalitat of Catalonia, Spain. Pere.godoy@gencat.cat

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The objective of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions in preventing cases of influenza requiring hospitalization.

METHODS:

We performed a multicenter case-control study in 36 hospitals, in 2010 in Spain. Hospitalized influenza cases confirmed by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and three matched controls (two hospital and one community control) per case were selected. The use of non-pharmacological measures seven days before the onset of symptoms (frequency of hand washing, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and handwashing after touching contaminated surfaces) was collected.

RESULTS:

We studied 813 cases hospitalized for influenza and 2274 controls. The frequency of hand washing 5-10 times (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=0.65) and >10 times (aOR=0.59) and handwashing after contact with contaminated surfaces (aOR=0.65) were protective factors and were dose-responsive (p<0.001). Alcohol-based hand sanitizers were associated with marginal benefits (aOR=0.82).

CONCLUSIONS:

Frequent handwashing should be recommended to prevent influenza cases requiring hospitalization.

PMID:
22548868
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.04.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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