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Fist bump to reduce flu.

A new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control has found that "fist bumping" instead of shaking hands by way of greeting can reduce the transmission of bacteria by up to 90 per cent.

Even swapping a firm handshake for a gentler, briefer shake could have a significant impact on reducing the spread of infection.

The spread of infectious diseases is lower with a fist bump because it is faster than shaking hands and there is less surface area exposed, meaning there is less chance for bacteria to spread from person to person.

Scientists at Aberystwyth University in Wales tested different forms of greeting and how they affected the transmission of E. coli. They found that the most bacteria were passed during a handshake, around half as much in a high five and 90 per cent less when bumping fists. The most bacteria were passed from a strong handshake.

Dr Dave Whitworth senior lecturer at the university said: "People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands. But if the general public could be encouraged to fist bump, there is a genuine potential to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.

"When there's flu going round or coughs and colds, definitely if you want to touch someone as a greeting a fist bump is much better than a handshake.

"It potentially could have a significant impact on reducing flu when there is an epidemic."

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Title Annotation:Britain
Publication:The Lamp
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Sep 1, 2014
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