The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

Not only coronavirus: what infections can you catch through a handshake


Source: Clever

A handshake is an ancient way of showing friendliness. Not only men, but also women all over Europe use this tradition of greeting both in relation to friends and pals, and to strangers. Meanwhile, according to the World Health Organization, eighty percent of all existing infectious diseases are transmitted by handshake, writes Clever.

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Intestinal infections

Almost all infections of the gastrointestinal tract are called "diseases of dirty hands" by domestic doctors. Note: the patient himself can strictly observe hygienic procedures, but at the same time be a friendly individual or a responsible person who is constantly in contact with a huge number of professionals. A mass of bacteria lives on the hands of an ordinary person; they get there after taking the subway, while going to the store, to any public institution, or just to the toilet. But few people wash their hands with soap and water several times a day. Once at an important meeting or, for example, at a corporate party, even for one handshake, a person receives salmonella, Escherichia coli, dysentery pathogens and other pathogenic bacteria in his palm. And if among his entourage there are people weakened even by ordinary colds, then all these bacteria on his palms will simply swarm. However, it is not enough for a healthy person to get a disease outbreak just by getting them on their skin. For the onset of the inflammatory process, pathogens of intestinal infections must enter the mouth. And after all, often after handshakes, buffets, business lunches, parties, joint smoke breaks begin - just at such moments, pathogenic bacteria end up in the oral cavity, where they begin to actively multiply. If the immune system is weakened, the development of an intestinal infection is likely to occur.

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Scientists at Cardiff State University conducted a survey among thousands of Britons to understand their attitude to their own health. More than half of the respondents said that when communicating with a sick person, they would not kiss him or even come close to him. And if it becomes clear to them that a friend is sick with influenza or ARVI, then eighty percent of the respondents said that they would prefer to shake his hand. Meanwhile, scientists from Cardiff University insist that the most “reliable” way of contracting ARVI is precisely the handshake: a sick person with a cold touches his nose, eyes, sneezes in his palms or covers his mouth with them, and particles of mucus remain on his hands and fingers. Therefore, when shaking hands, they easily fall into the palm of a healthy respondent, who then also touches his face, eyes, lips and brings the virus onto his mucous membranes.

In a similar way, human papillomavirus infection occurs, in the common people - with warts. They live on the patient's fingers and palms and are invisible on the skin until a certain time. With a handshake, the virus is easily transmitted to a healthy person, and he himself, accidentally touching his mucous membranes, then brings it into the body. Then, warts begin to grow on the most affected areas of the skin.

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Infectious dermatitis is a very common phenomenon in the modern world. According to researchers from the University of Aberystwyth in Wales, even as a result of a short and light handshake with a patient, pathogens such as candidiasis and streptococci instantly appear on the skin of a healthy person. And even if, after shaking hands, a person's palms were washed with hot water (but without soap!), There is still a risk of infection with fungal diseases, scabies and impetigo - superficial pustular pyoderma. And the treatment of these three infections is very difficult and can take several months. That is why British scientists in their research suggest that men should completely abandon handshakes and replace them with a friendly pat on the shoulder, and women - with an imitation of a kiss. Such communication methods can largely slow down the massive transmission of infections and preserve the health of a person who has not yet been infected.

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