Non-Pharm Interventions: Only Half the Battle...the other half is doing them correctly!
A recent study from New Zealand doesn't give us much hope the public will practice good hand hygiene or respiratory etiquette; two actions that are vital to prevention of disease spread. The researchers studied the habits of general public over two weeks in late August; a time when H1N1 Swine Flu was a concern and the work "pandemic" was all over the news.
Full article as found at MSNBC.com here.
All this should come as little surprise following that a 2007 study noted that one in four adults still do not wash their hands after using the bathroom.
This study leaves me wondering about the impact of public information campaigns and disease prevention strategies. Were public information programs ineffective? Was the message poorly received or not understood? Or, do we still suffer from Optimism Bias...it can't happen to me! In either case, we have to stress that the non-pharmacological interventions; hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and social distancing are keys to preventing spread of any biologic agent. These interventions become even more vital when vaccine is not readily available.