Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

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Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 14 Nov, 2018 6:28 am

I was doing some research on hand sanitiser brands for an upcoming trip and came upon this interesting bit of info.

Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium. :shock: The alcohol which is the prime sanitising agent of these gels doesnt kill the crypto germ.

So if you have the 'runs' or are a staying in hut with someone else who has it, using hand sanitiser wont protect you or others. Soap and water works.
Apparently crpto can live on surfaces such as door knobs etc for several days even weeks given the right climatic conditions.

Note: The best way to prevent the spread of Cryptosporidium in the home is by practicing good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after using the toilet, after changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not effective against Crypto.

Source - https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/general-info.html

Sanitiser does work on most other surface borne bacteria/virus/germs etc. The 'runs' can be caused by a variety of germs, so hand sanitiser is still effective at preventing many backcountry illnesses.

So looks like i'l be doing the old trick of opening door knobs with my shirt.. from now on. :P (and carrying soap)
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Re: Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

Postby wander » Wed 14 Nov, 2018 9:36 am

How wide spread do we think Cryptosporidium is?
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Re: Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

Postby GPSGuided » Wed 14 Nov, 2018 9:53 am

Basically you need clean running water and soap to wash them off rather than killing them. It’s also a case of dilution to an extent that dramatically reduces the chance of clinical infection. In restrained conditions, alcohol based hand sanitiser is better than no sanitiser. Clean off any dirt would also help. As for the shirt method, it can only help so far until they are contaminated too. More importantly is to not contaminate anything that’s destined for the mouth. Dirty hands, fine as long as you only touch the handle of the knife and not the blade as an example.
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Re: Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 14 Nov, 2018 7:26 pm

wander wrote:How wide spread do we think Cryptosporidium is?


According to this study - https://journals.plos.org/plosntds/arti ... td.0004078
~SNIP~ Rates of reported cryptosporidiosis in Australia are higher than many comparable developed countries

~SNIP~ Moreover, an increasing risk of reported cryptosporidiosis with remote living is evident.

~SNIP~ Rates of reported cryptosporidiosis in Australia are 12.8 illnesses per 100 000 population. Rates in other developed countries with similar surveillance systems are generally lower at 2.9 per 100 000 (United States) [21] and 2.7 per 100 000 (Canada) and 8 per 100 000 (England and Wales), but higher in New Zealand at 22 per 100 000 [22].

So the threat is there.. how significant a threat to bushwalkers is unknown. It does say remote living has increased incidence but that could be people living in rural settings in close proximity to cattle etc. (apparently animal faeces are common transmission route either directly via hand to mouth or via contaminated water). Incidence in a urban setting such as a city is apparently very low.

GPSGuided wrote:As for the shirt method, it can only help so far until they are contaminated too.


My thought was you touch the inner surface of the shirt with your hand and the outer surface touches the door, so then the bug cant get to your hand.. however Im unaware how much the shirt itself would then become infected.. and could it then pass the germ to the inner side of the fabric?
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Re: Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

Postby Gadgetgeek » Wed 14 Nov, 2018 7:37 pm

I wouldn't rely on a shirt to remain clean in those conditions, the bugs will likely disperse through the fabric.

As far as crypto in humans, I think that most of the cases that are reported in Canada annually are water treatment failures, so a small town all gets it at once, as most of the other likely sources are foreseeable, for example we had well water, but boiled whenever there was flooding as the risk of surface water contamination was high. And in wilderness areas, it tends to be long-term camps, like logging or tree planting.
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Re: Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

Postby Xplora » Thu 15 Nov, 2018 4:57 am

wildwanderer wrote:So if you have the 'runs' or are a staying in hut with someone else who has it, using hand sanitiser wont protect you or others.


It will protect you from gastro bugs which are the main cause of the runs. Good toileting hygiene is important.
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Re: Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

Postby Warin » Thu 15 Nov, 2018 5:56 am

GPSGuided wrote:Dirty hands, fine as long as you only touch the handle of the knife and not the blade as an example.


There is the 'right hand for eating, left hand for the other end' method. Reserve your right hand for eating, left hand for anything else - opening doors etc...
For most of us it might be easier to reverse the practice and only use the left hand for eating.
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Re: Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

Postby wildwanderer » Thu 15 Nov, 2018 6:43 am

Xplora wrote:It will protect you from gastro bugs which are the main cause of the runs. Good toileting hygiene is important.


Possibly semantics but the Cryptosporidium parasite is one of the causes of gastro. However other parasites,viruses and germs that also cause gastro can be eliminated/reduced with hand sanitiser gel.
Source - https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/F_ ... oenteritis
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Re: Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

Postby north-north-west » Thu 15 Nov, 2018 8:57 am

wildwanderer wrote:My thought was you touch the inner surface of the shirt with your hand and the outer surface touches the door, so then the bug cant get to your hand.. however Im unaware how much the shirt itself would then become infected.. and could it then pass the germ to the inner side of the fabric?


Carry a breadbag? Less permeable than a shirt, light. Still the issue of preventing the virii from spreading to the side of the bag you touch. Single use gloves are not really practical for something like this, and that's too much waste produced. So we're back to careful selection of water sources and appropriate washing. And not using dunnies when out bush . . .
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Re: Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 15 Nov, 2018 11:04 am

wildwanderer wrote:My thought was you touch the inner surface of the shirt with your hand and the outer surface touches the door, so then the bug cant get to your hand..

Fabric is porous and if there’s a real infection concern, then it’s not a reliable solution. Just wash your hands before touching food and putting close to your mouth.
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Re: Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

Postby GPSGuided » Thu 15 Nov, 2018 11:08 am

north-north-west wrote:Carry a breadbag? Less permeable than a shirt, light . . .

All these worries and solutions are starting to get into the realm of ridiculous. Has anyone seen a fellow walker in huts who go to those levels of personal protection? People who are paranoid of ‘bugs’ should probably not go bush.
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Re: Hand sanitiser doesnt work for Cryptosporidium

Postby Warin » Thu 15 Nov, 2018 11:26 am

GPSGuided wrote:All these worries and solutions are starting to get into the realm of ridiculous.


Yep. Here is another one.. :D
One bug killer is UV light .. you get it from the sun.
Pity 'we' cannot use Steripens to 'clean' things other than water .. but that UV damages eyes too.
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