OAHPP promotes handwashing

TORONTO, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - As an organization dedicated to the health of Ontarians, the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (OAHPP) strongly supports and promotes the practice of hand hygiene as one of the best public health precautions available for controlling the spread of respiratory infections.

An article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) published on October 1, 2009, titled "Conflict emerges over value of handwashing as a preventive flu transmission measure" provides misleading information to the public about the effectiveness of hand hygiene. The article cites a report prepared by a multidisciplinary panel for the Council of Canadian Academies. The panel was chaired by Dr. Don Low with a mandate to:

    
    a)  Review and identify the transmission of flu based on existing reviews
        and original literature
    b)  Assess the effectiveness of N95 respirators or surgical masks in the
        prevention of flu transmission among health-care workers
    

The report found that hand hygiene, which is a major mode of interrupting contact transmission, is a central component of essentially all influenza control protocols for both seasonal and pandemic disease.

There are many studies showing that handwashing is an effective means of interrupting or reducing the spread of viral respiratory infections. Dr. Vivek Goel, President and CEO of OAHPP states, "Countries around the world promote hand hygiene as a cost-effective and easy method of controlling infection that can be followed by all ages."

The expert panel did note that there were no randomized control trials that specifically addressed the ability to control the spread of influenza through hand hygiene. However, this on its own does not lead to the CMAJ's suggestion that there is no evidence for the promotion of hand hygiene as a control measure for influenza.

Dr. Goel notes that OAHPP supports both the provincial and national public health campaigns aimed at flu prevention and protection.

    
    For more information please visit:
    Public Health Agency of Canada:
    http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/alert-alerte/h1n1/index-eng.php

    Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care:
    http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/ccom/flu/h1n1/public/prevention.aspx
    

SOURCE ONTARIO AGENCY FOR HEALTH PROTECTION AND PROMOTION

For further information: For further information: Helen Simeon, Director of Communications, Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion, (647) 260-7246

Organization Profile

ONTARIO AGENCY FOR HEALTH PROTECTION AND PROMOTION

More on this organization

FLU VIRUS UPDATE

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890