Extra, Extra! Spreading the Word on Germs

    - Canadians Divided about Germ Protection and Prevention -

    TORONTO, Nov. 28 /CNW/ - From dirty door handles to pitiful personal
hygiene, Canadians need to take action against a new public offence -
Infection Instigation. With the start of cold and flu season around the corner
it is vital to identify infection instigators and their airborne army before
it is too late. According to Health Canada, nearly one-quarter of Canadians
contract the flu each year, so how can we protect ourselves during this sickly
season? What are the germ culprits and where do they lurk?
    According to family physician Dr. Jennifer Malcolm, "Virus and infection
instigators are all around, from pens to public transportation, it is
impossible to avoid germs." The worst part about germs is that they spread ...
fast! "From year to year I see the ebbs and flows of cold season and I know
that once I see two people come in with a virus I will see 20 with the same
symptoms. It is really amazing to see how quickly germs can spread," continues
Dr. Malcolm.

    Faster than a Speeding Bullet

    Like an evil super hero, germs and bacteria have a mysterious ability to
live for long periods of time. In fact, they multiply quickly and can live on
hard surfaces such as doorknobs, desks and countertops for up to 48 hours,
making germ exposure inevitable at multiple points during the day.
    According to the 2007 PURELL(R) Protection Poll(*) released today, over
half of Canadians are concerned about germ spread (66%), but are divided when
it comes to protection and prevention. Only 37 per cent of Canadians agreed
that hand washing was the best course of action for germ protection followed
closely by avoiding other people (30%) - incredibly one quarter of the
Canadian population believes that poor personal hygiene is the largest
contributor to germ spread.
    It is not surprising that Canadians are wary of others when an alarming
84 per cent of us have witnessed someone not wash their hands after using the
washroom. Other commonplace infection instigating activities practiced by
Canadians are sneezing or coughing then shaking someone's hand (65%), holding
money in one's mouth (57%) and not cleaning their hands after picking up after
their pet (55%).
    "We have all witnessed some 'interesting' hygiene habits, but what is
most concerning about these statistics is that these individuals put the
public at risk by spreading a multitude of germs and bacteria," comments Dr.
Malcolm. "The bottom line is that practicing proper hand hygiene is the single
most important protection we have against germs and when soap and water isn't
available use an instant hand sanitizer with alcohol, such as PURELL(R) hand

    Become a Virus Vigilante

    When faced daily with a host of harmful germs and bacteria, it is
essential to be vigilant about protection and prevention. Healthcare
professionals agree, the number one protection against viruses and germ spread
is hand washing. Although 86 per cent of Canadians believe that frequent hand
washing is most important to prevent germ spread when sick, it is vital to
practice proper hand hygiene at all times.
    Impeccable hand hygiene is always the best course of action for virus
vigilance, but there are other factors to consider when it comes to germ
spread and sickness. Proper cough and sneeze hygiene will also help to prevent
the spread of an airborne army of germs, but what is the best choice: to cover
with hands or elbows? Canadian males and females seem divided on the issue,
males are more prone to sneeze into their hands (44%) whereas females will
sneeze or cough into their elbows (44%). So who is correct? According to the
Canadian Health Network, it is recommended to sneeze or cough into the crook
of the elbow instead of the hand or, like 62 per cent of Canadians, just avoid
close contact if you are sick!
    "Sneezing or coughing into your elbow is the ideal way to avoid spreading
airborne germs in public," commented Dr. Malcolm. "If you do end up in an
emergency sneeze situation, I recommend keeping tissues handy and avoid
touching things around you until you are able to wash or sanitize your hands."
    It is not difficult to be a virus vigilante, just put these simple
preventative tips from Dr. Malcolm into practice:
    Wash your hands with soap and water: You don't need to sterilize your
hands, just use warm water and soap. The rule of thumb is to sing happy
birthday twice while washing your hands.
    No water, sanitize: Keep a bottle of instant hand sanitizer handy. It is
a life saver when it comes to personal germ protection. Dr. Malcolm recommends
PURELL(R) Hand Sanitizer as it is proven to effectively kill 99.99 per cent of
harmful bacteria.
    Keep hands out of your mouth and eyes: Thinking about chewing that nail,
think again! Knowing that nearly every surface contains germs and bacteria,
practice this simple germ protection tip and keep your hands out of your mouth
and eyes to stay germ free.

    PURELL(R) Hand Sanitizer safely kills 99.99 per cent of most common germs
that may cause illness in as little as fifteen seconds. PURELL(R) Hand
Sanitizer is portable and can be used anytime, anywhere, without soap or
water. PURELL(R) with Aloe Hand Sanitizer and PURELL(R) Hand Sanitizer
Moisture Therapy (sanitizes and moisturizes in one) are also available.
    PURELL(R) Hand Sanitizer for consumer use is by Johnson & Johnson Inc.
Canada. Johnson & Johnson Inc. is a member of the Johnson & Johnson Family of
Companies, the world's most comprehensive and broadly based manufacturer of
health care products, as well as a provider of related services, for the
consumer, pharmaceutical, and medical devices and diagnostics markets. Johnson
& Johnson Inc. Canada markets innovative products focusing on skin care, baby
care, wound care, oral health and women's health.

    (*) These independent surveys were conducted by Decima Research in August
        2007. This national sample of 1,000 Canadian adults 18 years or older
        is accurate within +/- 3.1 percentage points.

For further information:

For further information: or to book an interview with Dr. Malcolm:
Julienne Spence, Jen Kirsch, Environics Communications, (416) 969-2765, (416)
969-2774, jspence@environicspr.com, jkirsch@environicspr.com

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