Are You Shaking Hands Less To Avoid Getting Sick? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Are You Shaking Hands Less To Avoid Getting Sick?

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Are you shaking hands with people less to avoid getting sick? Are you shaking hands with people less to avoid getting sick?
KHQ.com - Three cases of MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, in the past three weeks are raising fears across the U.S. 

The first case was linked to a man who recently visited Saudi Arabia. That patient, a Florida man, was just released from the hospital on Thursday. One of the other cases has been linked to an Indiana man, who gave it to the third known case, a man from Illinois. Health officials say it is the first MERS infection acquired in the U.S. 

Right now, it is unknown how the disease was transmitted, but there are two working theories. The first was says that the two men had a 40 minute business meeting, which is enough time for the disease to be transmitted. The other theory involves what happened in the beginning and end of that meeting: a handshake. 

The Illinois man has said the Indiana man appeared to be perfectly healthy. Doctors say a person can contract the virus, but not show any symptoms. 

MERS is still thought to spread primarily through close contact in places like hospitals. But after the 40-minute business meeting, health officials are wondering about the scary possibility that the virus can spread through face to face conversations and handshakes. 

The recent case hasn't changed the The Center For Disease Control recommendations to avoid MERS. They are still advising frequent hand washing, avoiding contact with people who appear to be sick, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as phones, keyboards and door knobs. 

Of course MERS is an extreme example, as viruses like the common cold and flu can be spread through contact with others, such as a handshake. So we wanted know: Is the handshake going out of style? In order to avoid getting sick, are you turning to something with less contact, such as a fist bump? 

Let us know on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KHQLocalNews
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