Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Now that's a bit icky

So University of Otago did some research in Wellington during the peak of last year's swine flu season, and the results are really rather disturbing.

They watched thousands of people at Wellington Railway Station, a food court somewhere in town, and down at Wellington Hospital, observing to see what hygiene precautions people were taking - whether they were covering their mouths & noses with a tissue or using the crook of their elbow when sneezing and coughing - just like the Ministry of Health had been spending a large chunk of money ($1.75 million) promoting.

And the results, which illustrate just why there are so many sick days taken each year, was that only 1 in 20 (5%) did as they should. 1 in 4 (25%) didn't cover anything at all, just filled the air around them with an explosion of bodily fluids & germs, and the rest just sprayed their hands with mucus, to contaminate the next thing they touched. Lovely...

Some were spotted coughing all over food, or in their children's faces, and some were seen actively spitting - in the hospital of all places!

Makes you want to bathe in Dettol, just thinking about it, doesn't it?

Cover your coughs & sneezes, we don't want your diseases!


It's good to hear that 1 million Kiwis have gotten their flu jabs this year, though with the way people carry on, no one is going to be safe from whatever other cold viruses happen to be doing the rounds. I'm just praying that people are actually washing their hands after using the bathroom...


William de Wyke said...

Frankly if they're anything like the people at my work I wouldn't count on them washing their hands either.

I figure about 95% of people I see in the loos wash their hands before they leave, but of those maybe 5-10% on a good day, are doing it properly. For the vast majority it's a quick rinse under the tap, no soap, and a quick wipe with a towel before they're out the door and into the kitchen to make a coffee. Makes me want to shower in dettol.

Fortunately I'm now in a position to try and do something about it. I'm looking for the best gross-out posters I can get away with to stick up around the place and try to get decent hand washing if nothing else through people's heads.

Porirua EMO said...

At one of my former places of employment, they replaced the manual paper towel dispenser with one of those wave-your-hand magic ones. Apparently it was to save on paper towels, but the usage in the mens' toilets actually doubled, so I can imagine that more were actually washing their hands, just so they could use the new gadget.