Saturday, December 15, 2007

Washing hands proven to be more effective than drug against pandemic

We know that keeping oneself clean all the time always been a great way to prevent oneself from getting sick. Maybe, we didn't know back then when we were still young, spoiled kids who loved to go outside get dirty, but our mothers forced us to wash our hands before dinner. This simple process called, 'hand-washing' can provide protection against cold and flu. But would these protective measures such as hand-washing or wearing gloves good enough to stand against even SARS or influenza viruses?

Surprisingly, recent medical studies showed that just regular practice of physical barriers are more effective than drugs that can prevent SARS or influenza which are considered as potential pandemics at moment.

Developing new vaccines and drugs can take a lot of time and money. Even if these drugs became available, we have to consider the time that would take to mass produce them and delivery it to people in need. Also, the issue of money is another concern for us and government. If the drug was made little in quantity, or from expensive reagents, then of course the price of the drug would be huge. Then, poor people would be left with no option but wait for help of charity.

It's incredible to think that just simple hand-washing can be more effective in preventing from even pandemic diseases. If pandemic was to occur, then just educating people to wear safety masks, gloves and wash hands, can reduce number of sick people drastically. This means that less people getting sick, thus there are less need for drugs. Since we do not know how expensive and avaibilty of durgs are going to be, best thing to do is not get sick in a first place. 

However, this does not mean we are compeletly safe from diseases. We still need drugs and vaccines to wipe out the diseases. Even these physical barriers have its limits. For example, it would be hard to educate all the people to remind the importance of hand-washing especially to those in third world countries. Also, in third world countires, I doubt that they have sufficient clean waters for their personal hygine.



1 comment:

Dominic B. said...

The simplest of things are sometimes the most difficult things to seems to me that people need something, a molecule(?), to believe in...people are in need of a saviour! When you can blame your doctor, your dentist, your nurse, the big pharma, "natural" pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals, probiotics....why on earth would you blame yourself for doing such a simple thing as this...wash your hands?