Should handshakes be banned due to hygiene concerns?

4th of August 2017
Should handshakes be banned due to hygiene concerns?

Doctors in the USA and the UK are considering handshake bans in a bid to reduce hospital infections, some of which are resistant to antibiotics.

Others, however, say handshaking in the general community is fairly safe as long as people regularly wash their hands.

This traditional method of greeting has already been banned in two neonatal intensive care units in Los Angeles for example, in a bid to minimise hospital-acquired infections. Mass handshaking was also blamed by public health authorities for an outbreak of norovirus following a political rally in Nebraska.

So could the more modern fist-bump greeting - often used by former US president Barack Obama - become the accepted norm?

In 2014 two researchers from Aberystwyth University in Wales compared the quantity of bacteria transferred by handshaking, high-fiving and fist bumping. They found handshaking transferred 10 times more bacteria than fist bumping.


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