Messy study suggests hand sanitizer not as effective as you may think

To measure the effectiveness of hand sanitizer, Japanese researchers gathered wet mucus from people with the flu, and spread on the hands of 10 volunteers.

The new study found that sanitizer had to be left on their hands for four minutes to make sure the virus was no longer infectious.

Volunteers also had infected mucus dry on their hands for 30 minutes, and with dry mucus it took 30 seconds of rubbing sanitizer on their hands to kill the virus.

Dr. Olivia Thiel with Mayo Clinic Health System recommends you stay home if you’re sick, but if you have to go out: Make sure you take your time when you clean your hands.

“If you think about the average person who throws on some hand sanitizer or washes real quick and goes on with their work or school or anything, they ‘re not appropriately killing the virus. So that’s the big concern that they want people to be aware of,” said Thiel.

The CDC recommends washing your hands immediately after sneezing our coughing. It says to spend 20 seconds, the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice, scrubbing all areas on your hands.

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