Please use hand sanitizer

by Zeke Cato

I am writing in response to yesterdayâÄôs letter to the editor titled, âÄúStop casual hand sanitation.âÄù The writer of the article seems uninformed as to the mechanism by which these sanitizers kill bacteria. They do not contain antibiotics, at least the ones IâÄôve seen on campus, but alcohol in a gel support. Where antibiotics kill bacteria by exploiting a particular weakness of the cell, alcohol denatures the proteins of the bacterium, which is something no amount of adaptation could protect it against. Alcohol hand sanitizers have also been shown to be much more effective than hand soaps if the hands are free of visible debris. A particular place where I see that hand sanitizer is really effective is the computer lab. Hundreds of people every day are in and out of any one computer lab, and with that many hands on the computers, hand sanitizer at the door helps people think about the potential medium for disease transmission that are the keyboard and mouse. The public health leaders on campus are knowledgeable enough that they wouldnâÄôt put out sanitation methods that people arenâÄôt going to use properly. Alcohol is fast and effective, and we donâÄôt have to worry about mutated bacteria. Members of the University: keep using hand sanitizer. ItâÄôs a good thing. Zeke Cato University undergraduate student