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Monday, 30 January 2012

Dancer’s Cough and Alcoholic Rubs

I've been getting fed up with what seems like a prolonged “common cold” this Winter. There seems to be a lot of it about – some of my dancing friends are coughing for England.
So I looked into it. A significant infection route is not directly via the “coughs and sneezes that spread diseases” but more like this:
  • ·        Infected person touches their face (we all touch our faces a lot)
  • ·        Infected person touches uninfected person's hand (Dancers do this a lot)
  • ·        Previously uninfected person touches their face – especially their nose or eyes
So I started thinking about more hand washing and looked into it. There's certainly some evidence that it can help. There's quite a lot of “anti-bacterial” soaps and hand washes around but the common cold is a virus so it I started looking for something viricidal. The answer seems to be alcohol, specifically 70% alcohol hand rubs.


A trip down to a few pharmacies went badly. Lots had the anti-bacterials. When I told people I was looking for 70% alcohol as a ”gold standard” they told me it was very bad for the skin. I investigated again and found that what's in the other 30% makes them even better for your skin than soap and water

Another nice thing about alcoholic hand rubs is that you don't need clean water and a towel. You just rub it on and it evaporates.  I found a nifty little 50mL dispenser on Amazon . (No, I don’t get commission) 


So I'm all set. Just before driving home after a dance, I whip out this little dispenser and give my hands a good rub. I could also do this:
  • Before going into a dance
  • After visiting the toilets
  • During any interval
PS: This suggests I'm wasting my time and money! 

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