1921
Volume 94, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract

To assess the health impact of reusable, antimicrobial hand towels, we conducted a cluster randomized, yearlong field trial. At baseline, we surveyed mothers, and gave four towels plus hygiene education to intervention households and education alone to controls. At biweekly home visits, we asked about infections in children < 2 years old and tested post-handwashing hand rinse samples of 20% of mothers for . At study's conclusion, we tested 50% of towels for . Baseline characteristics between 188 intervention and 181 control households were similar. Intervention and control children had similar rates of diarrhea (1.47 versus 1.48, = 0.99), respiratory infections (1.38 versus 1.48, = 0.92), skin infections (1.76 versus 1.79, = 0.81), and subjective fever (2.62 versus 3.40, = 0.04) per 100 person-visits. Post-handwashing hand contamination was similar; 67% of towels exhibited contamination. Antimicrobial hand towels became contaminated over time, did not improve hand hygiene, or prevent diarrhea, respiratory infections, or skin infections.

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2016-02-03
2017-11-24
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  • Received : 08 Sep 2014
  • Accepted : 17 Aug 2015

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