Unhealthy flogging: Nose drilling spreads dangerous bacteria.
Although it is generally considered unhygienic, not only children but also many adults pop in their noses.
This can help to spread dangerous bacteria, as shown in a study by British scientists.
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Life-threatening diseases caused by widespread bacteria
Pneumococci are bacteria in many people in the nose and throat – usually without causing any disease. However, they can spread and cause infections such as sinusitis or otitis media. However, potentially life-threatening diseases such as meningitis and blood poisoning can also be caused by these bacteria. And also a large part of the pneumonia is triggered by pneumococci. So far, it has been assumed that the transmission of the pathogens takes place by means of droplet infection. However, one study indicates that the rubbing of the nose and nose open contribute significantly to the spread of pneumococci.
Children are the main carriers
As the researchers from the United Kingdom explained, the understanding of the transmission of pneumococci is important because more than 1.2 million infant deaths are due to the bacteria.
“We know that children are more likely to have pneumococci in their noses than adults, and other studies have shown that children are the main vectors of these bacteria in the community,” said Drs. Victoria Connor of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the Royal Liverpool Hospital, according to an article by the journal ” Healio “.
“Therefore, the study results in adults are likely to be of great importance to children.”
The study was published in the journal ” European Respiratory Journal “.
Easier transmission of pneumococci in humid environments
To reach their conclusions, between April and May 2017, scientists placed pneumococci on the fingertip or the back of the hand in 40 healthy adult participants.
Once the bacteria were administered, the subjects were instructed to either sniff the bacteria or make direct contact with the surface of the nasal mucosa, similar to nasal dripping or nose rubbing.
Contact with the bacteria took place while the solution was still wet, or one to two minutes after the pneumococci had been applied.
Nine days later, Connor and her colleagues observed bacterial colonization in 20 percent of participants receiving pneumococci.
Those who were asked to touch their nose with a wet bacterial solution had the highest rate of colonization (40 percent), followed by those who were asked to sniff the wet bacterial solution on the back of their hands (30 percent).
According to the researchers, the germination was much lower in the same procedure with a dry bacterial substance. In the “nose drills” it was only ten percent and the “sniffers” there was no evidence of bacteria.
In a humid environment, a pneumococcal transmission was easier.
Pay attention to consistent hand hygiene
Connor said that adults’ hands can spread bacteria, and this can be important if they come into contact with children and the elderly with weakened immune systems.
The researcher suggested that adults should pay particular attention to consistent hand hygiene when they come into contact with these populations.
In addition, toys and surfaces should be cleaned regularly to reduce the likelihood of transmission.
“For parents, this research shows that the hands are likely to spread pneumococci, which is important when children come into contact with older relatives or relatives with impaired immune systems,” says Connor.
“In such situations, good hand hygiene and cleaning of toys and surfaces would reduce transmission.”
It could also be useful to have a preventive vaccination. Children up to two years of age are vaccinated against pneumococci three times during certain months of life.
This is also possible at the same time as another six-month vaccination (for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, whooping cough (pertussis), Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) and hepatitis B).