Daily US Times: A video went viral in Japan which shows how easily germs and viruses can spread in restaurants when just one person is infected.
The experiment simulates the atmosphere on a cruise ship or at a buffet restaurant.
In conjunction with health experts, the video was conducted by the public broadcasting organization NHK.
The video featured 10 people coming into a restaurant, with one singled out as the “infected” person. Each participant goes about the buffet as they normally would without considering potential virus contamination. The participants are cast under black lights at the end of the video, illuminating where the “infection” has spread. Invisible fluorescent paint which is visible only under a black light — was applied to the palm of one person.
The substance used to signify the germs, can be seen on serving utensils and platters, food and even on the faces of some of the participants. After the “infected” person touched various items the “virus” was transferred by other participants to a wide array of items, including silverware, dishes, glassware, clothing and mobile phones. Several participants had paint on their hands and three had paint on their faces.
Here’s what the experts have to say
These kinds of experiments are not new. A clinical professor in pathology at Hong Kong University, John Nicholls, said the video shows how quickly a virus can spread, especially when hand washing is not performed.
Nicholls said: “What the video demonstrated, is that it will spread to surfaces and to people very efficiently and I think it really highlights the need of what people have been saying about hand hygiene to stop the spread of disease.”
He, however, said that the situation is “artificial” because so much emphasis is placed on the touching alone.
Kentaro Iwata, infectious disease specialist at Kobe University has agreed with Nicholls.
Iwata said: “The experiment just described the possibility of the spread by contact, and that is not proof of what happened, so the distinction has to be clearly made between what could happen and what did happen.”
But both of them said the experiment is a good way to show the importance of hand washing.
Nicholls said for the sake of science, it would be even more effective to see the experiment done after the “infected” person washes their hands for five and then ten seconds.
“So the general public gets some concept of the mechanism of how much the use of hand washing can actually reduce the transmission of potentially infectious material,” he added.
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