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Singlecare: Can hand sanitizers or hand-washing kill the flu?

Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum says it's what you do with your hands when cleaning them that's important

New research examines what is more effective against the flu: hand sanitizer or hand washing. The study found that when the flu virus is trapped in wet mucus, it can remain infectious for up to four minutes after exposure to hand sanitizer—in other words, much longer than you might have guessed. According to the study, hand-washing—even without soap and even when the infected mucus was wet—was, indeed, very effective in removing the flu virus. It eliminated it in just 30 seconds.

Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum in a lab in the Division of Infectious Diseases

Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the UC College of Medicine, in an interview with Singlecare, said "the fight wasn't fair." He says researchers didn’t study how hand sanitizer works when it’s rubbed into the skin, only when it was dabbed onto fingers, adding "hand rubbing is the critical part of all this."