The original Germ Defence website was developed to help people protect themselves against seasonal cold and flu viruses, and also against outbreaks of global viruses – like Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- The website was tested in a scientific trial with over 20,000 people during the swine flu outbreak. Half of the people had access to the website, the other half did not. Everyone was asked how often they washed their hands and if they had any illnesses over a 3 month period.
- Over half (53%) of the people who had seen the website washed their hands at least 10 times a day.
- This was far more than the people who did not use the website (37%)
- They also had less colds, flu and stomach upsets, and so did the people they lived with.
This shows that washing your hands regularly is a good way to protect yourself from germs that can cause illnesses.
The research was carried out by Professor Little and colleagues, and printed in The Lancet in 2015.
In 2021, as part of the CoMMins study, the Germ Defence website was adapted to include information relevant for schools during the Coronavirus pandemic.
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