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Students take the hand-washing challenge

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  • | 4:00 a.m. October 15, 2009
  • Sarasota
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Germs, bacteria and viruses — they are everywhere.

Fruitville Elementary School science teacher Andrew Jaffee led the third grade on a quest Thursday, Oct. 15 to find out whether hand soap or hand sanitizer is more effective at protecting kids from the flu for Global Handwashing Day.

With assistance from Amy Ballantyne, lab manager at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, students were asked to press their thumb against a culture dish to collect and test for bacteria and germs. After sanitizing their hands, they repeated the process and followed suit with hand soap.

“Soap will work better,” said third-grader Katie Savage. “Sanitizer has too much alcohol and it burns. I have sensitive skin.”

The difference between hand sanitizer and hand washing is that, although both are effective at curbing the spread of germs, sanitizer will not stop viruses — washing your hands will.

 “I think that nothing beats hand-washing,” Jafffee said. “It’s 99.999% effective.”

The results of the experiment will be released next week.

Contact Loren Mayo at [email protected].



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