The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging healthcare facilities to adopt alcohol-based hand rubs, otherwise known as instant sanitizers, in place of soap and water, except when hands are visibly soiled. Releasing new guidelines at the Infectious Diseases Society of America's annual meeting in Chicago, the CDC said healthcare personnel are more inclined to use alcohol-based hand rubs because of their convenience, and recent studies indicate hand rubs are more effective at killing bacteria than washing with soap and water. The CDC estimates that nearly 2 million patients a year get an infection in U.S. hospitals and about 90,000 die as a result. The CDC guideline on hand hygiene has not been revised since 1985, and it replaces 1995 guidelines developed by the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. -- by Julie Piotrowski
CDC backs hand rubs over soap and water
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