Researchers who spied on people washing their hands in public restrooms found that 25% of men left the restroom without washing, compared with 10% of women. The study, conducted by Harris Interactive for the American Society for Microbiology and The Soap and Detergent Association, checked up on more than 6,300 people using public restrooms. Overall, 83% washed their hands. Interestingly, in a recent telephone survey of over 1,000 adults also conducted by Harris Interactive, 97% of women and 96% of men claimed that they always or usually wash their hands after using a public restroom.
With cold and flu season upon us, remind patients that frequent hand washing is an easy, cheap, and effective defense against respiratory infections.