Disinfecting Wipes May Spread, Not Kill, Germs

But Schaffner added that in hospitals, surfaces are not the primary source of bacteria that infect patients. Other patients and health care workers are the ones who transmit the most germs. "It is hands that are the great transfer vehicle for bacteria from patient to patient," he said.

So the rising use of antibacterial wipes shouldn't overshadow the most important rule of hygiene: Wash your hands.

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