There is a thing pretty much every human being does about a few times per day that may be banned soon: handshakes!
Doctors are calling for handshake bans around the globe and want people to trade them for fist bumps to stop the spread of germs and “save large numbers of lives.”
The seemingly absurd notion that handshakes must be banned in order to save lives makes a lot of sense, it turns out.
Doctors reached a consensus that firm handshakes are the least hygienic greeting, with a 2014 study suggesting that a single handshake transfers 124 million live bacteria on average.
Yuck! The shocking findings have alarmed medical doctors around the world, with many U.S. hospitals banning handshakes and encouraging people to fist bump instead.
Just think about how many million live bacteria U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron exchanged during their infamously and uncomfortably long handshake during a meeting in May.
While Trump was apparently not worried about all those migrant French bacteria slipping into the U.S. territory through his own hands, his predecessor, President Barack Obama, was one of few political figures promoting a first bump as a way to greet people.
Even though a fist bump is stereotypically considered to be suitable only for teenagers and sportspeople, Obama proved that the seemingly unserious greeting can, in fact, replace the traditional bacteria-transferring greeting.
The Daily Mail reports that doctors are now actively encouraging fist bumps as a healthier alternative to handshakes as they spread fewer germs than the universally-accepted traditional greeting.
A number of doctors are stepping forward to encourage hospitals to ban handshakes in an attempt to reduce the spread of drug-resistant superbugs.
Handshakes have already been banned in two Los Angeles hospitals after a successful trial proved that the traditional greeting spreads infections. Now, concerned doctors want to extend their reach and make British hospitals ban handshakes.
According to a 2014 study by Dr. Dave Whitworth, senior lecturer at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, a handshake passes on 10 times more bacteria than a fist bump.
Banning handshakes at hospitals can help minimize the risk of spreading of drug-resistant superbugs such as MRSA and C Difficile, Dr. Whitworth argues in his research.
“I would recommend handshake bans. If it does nothing else, it raises awareness of the problems of infectious disease in the healthcare setting.”
What might become a revolutionary study that forever changes the traditional greeting and replaces handshakes with a fist bump, the study found that the longer the greeting, the more bacteria is being transferred.
Earlier this year, a study by the Lancet Infectious Diseases made headlines by finding that one in six children in the U.K. pediatric intensive care units develop hospital infections while being treated.
Although Dr. Whitworth’s study does seem to make a lot of sense, many doctors have lambasted the research and argued that banning physical examination at hospitals could also do the trick to reduce the spread of germs.
Is the fist-bump is the new handshake? ???? pic.twitter.com/eyURPwnCyK— Paul Stevens (@paul_d_stevens) July 3, 2017
Critics of the study argue that it is the hand-shaker who doesn’t wash hands thoroughly who’s to blame for the spread of potentially dangerous bacteria through handshakes, not the traditional greeting itself.
A shocking study published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology in 2010 found that only 40 percent of healthcare professionals comply with hygiene rules in hospitals.
While not touching anything or anyone in a hospital seems like the perfectly legitimate solution to avoid getting infected, Dr. Whitworth argues that a fist bump could substantially minimize the risk of getting infected.
[Featured Image by NaruFoto/Shutterstock]