Study: Fist bump to fight the flu? - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Study: Fist bump to fight the flu?

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Think about all of the hands you shake each day and then consider this: "If somebody blows their nose and then comes around the corner and shakes your hand - you're going to get whatever was in their nose on your hand," said Dr. Bob England, director of the Maricopa Department of Public Health.

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of all infections are transmitted by hands.

"It's one of the reasons we tell people to wash their hands, especially during cold and flu season, and to keep their hands away from their mouth and face," England explained.

Forget wimpy washes.

England said you need to use warm water, soap and give your hands a good scrub.

There's also a growing movement to go a step further.

"I always do the fist bump," said ASU student, Camden Nierman. "It's kinda my thing."

And, he's on to something.

A recent study found fist bumps transmitted only a quarter of the amount of germs compared to traditional handshakes.

"You don't know if they picked their butt or where they have put their hands before," explained Anel Tovar about why she fist bumps. "So, it's more healthy."

But, is it realistic?

"It's a social thing," said England. "I mean, come on. It's gonna be really awkward to go into some settings and have somebody reach their hand out to you and you counter with a little fist bump move."

England said fist bumps might be a cool trend, but don't go overboard with paranoia.

"We swim in a sea of microbes," he pointed out. "There are bacteria and viruses all over the place - most of which do us no harm whatsoever."

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