May 7th, 2009
11:39 AM ET
Does hand sanitizer kill bacteria and viruses?
As a new feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors will answer readers’ questions. Here’s a question for Dr. Gupta.
From CNN.com blogger, Dick:
"Hand sanitizer has been recommended but the bottles say, "Effective against bacteria," with no mention of viruses. What gives?"
That is a good question. There are not a lot of data actually on how effective those sanitizers are against viruses. There have been some studies done over the years and the conclusion is washing your hands with soap and water is still probably the best idea. If you are having a busy day and it is hard to get to a sink, then carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer would be a good idea.
In essence, it makes your hands very inhospitable to viruses. You put it on your hands and viruses simply don't want to cling to it. So it does reduce the amount of a virus that can cling to your hand but it does not kill it. Alternatively, it also can’t harm you in any way. We get a lot of questions from concerned viewers asking if sanitizers could actually cause antibiotic resistance down the road. Many studies have looked into the issue and all evidence points to the answer being no.
At the end of the day, basic principles apply to avoid getting a virus. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose as much as possible. If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve. If you're sick, stay home and avoid close contact with others. Some viruses can live for hours on surfaces such as ATMs, doorknobs, even money.
So be methodical about good hygiene, all year long! Remember that the number of 2009 H1N1 cases will most likely decrease over the summer months because viruses just don't transmit that well in the heat. But in the fall and winter, we're all going to have to remember what the new H1N1 strain was like and be extra vigilant so this doesn't get out of control.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
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How to Speak with Vietnamese Ladies on Your First Date
One thing that you will need to do for the Vietnamese women is to smile. A good deal of people are afraid to smile when they are meeting with women because they believe that they might not have the ability to smile back. However, a lot of women actually like it when a guy cried. You can tell a lot about a girl.
One thing that you need to avoid together with Vietnamese ladies on your first date is talking about anything other than dating and love. If you will talk about other things it has to be romance and friendship. Is when you have sex and then are becoming intimate. Talking about romance will only make you seem desperate and you may want to run away in the Vietnamese woman.
In addition, you need to be certain that you don't over-promise. Ladies are extremely sensitive and they won't take. They won't be impressed if you do an awful job of making them happy so make certain that you aren't one of those guys who goes out there with their hands and then gives them a lot of flowers. When you go to meet Vietnamese ladies, be certain you look your best and you give them a present they can use on the first date. This way, you will be able to impress them and make them feel good about you.
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