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Your Visual Guide To The Germiest Ways To Say Hello

Discussion in 'Microbiology' started by Hala, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. Hala

    Hala Golden Member Verified Doctor

    Oct 17, 2013
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    The dessert tray isn't the only health threat on the holiday party circuit: A recent editorial in JAMA calls out handshakes as a major germ-spreading hazard. Osteopath Rob Danoff offers this range of healthy (and not) hellos.

    WORST: Handshake

    Your palm = germ hot spot, and the extended contact makes it a no-go in cold-and-flu season. If you must clasp hands, wash up ASAP.

    BAD: High five

    It's a hit-and-run handshake: same germy contact point but only half the bacteria transfer on account of the speed.

    OK: Cheek kiss

    Generally safe if neither greeter is coughing or sneezing. (Stand under the mistletoe at your own risk.)

    GOOD: Hug

    Turn your head away and go gentle—hugs that force breath out of the lungs lead to airborne pathogens.

    BETTER: Fist bump

    Bug transfer is far lower than with a standard shake. Bonus: capturing Grandma's first fist bump on camera.

    BEST: Smile and wave

    Illustration by Tobatron

    Yeah, a little rude. But isn't keeping everyone healthy the kindest regards of all?


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