New research from the Global Hygiene Council shows the UK still needs to improve hygiene habits to prevent infection during the cold and flu season

As we get well into the cold and flu season and with the festive season fast approaching, new research from the Dettol Hygiene Home Truths study has revealed that 48% of Britons are wary of greeting someone with a kiss on the cheek if they look ill. Women are the most conscious of picking up germs from others with just over half (52%) saying they wouldn’t greet someone who looked ill with a kiss, and 35% saying they would avoid shaking hands. Keeping your distance from someone who is ill along with hand washing and targeted surface disinfection are measures which can help prevent the spread of cold and flu.

The Dettol Hygiene Home Truths study has also found that 28% of people are unconcerned with passing their germs to others by admitting to not covering their nose and mouth when sneezing.

Despite basic hand washing being the first line of defence against the spread of infection from bacteria and viruses, 40% of 16-24 year olds admitted to not washing their hands after going to the toilet. This can lead to potentially harmful bacteria cross contaminating surfaces such as door handles and work tops in the home, as well as from person to person and highlights the lack of understanding around the spread of infection.

It is not all bad news for the younger generation; results suggest that 16-25 year olds are more conscious of germs and bacteria than previously thought as the results highlighted that 16-25 year olds are almost twice (42%) as likely as those over 55 (23%) to avoid shaking hands with someone that looks ill.

In this video Professor John Oxford, Chairman of the Global Hygiene Council and Professor of Virology at Barts and The London School of Dentistry discusses basic changes we can make in our daily lives to ensure we stay healthy and germ-free this winter.