Blog | Tuesday, July 29, 2014

QD: News Every Day--Does the '5-second rule' apply to handshakes?

Bumping fists may be a more hygienic greeting than shaking hands, Welsh researchers reported. It may seem obvious, but the longer the grasp, the more bacteria spread from hand to hand in a study.

Two researchers wore rubber gloves dipped into a solution of Escherichia coli, and tested handshakes, high-fives, and fist-bumps to uncover the transfer rates of each greeting.

Results will appear in the August issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. The highest transfer occurred during handshakes, and had a dose-respondent relationship (that is, longer handshakes and grip strength mattered. A high-five reduced the transfer by half, and bumping fists had a 90% lower rate.

The study was inspired by an increase in measures to promote cleanliness in the workplace, such as hand-sanitizers and keyboard disinfectants, according to a university press release.

In case you missed it …

Internist William LaCorte, MD, ACP Member, has found a more lucrative business model than even concierge medicine, namely, filing whistleblower lawsuits potentially worth millions of dollars. A profile in the Wall Street Journal outlines how “qui tam” lawsuits have garnered him $38 million in recoveries from allegations of health care fraud.