Home Hygiene & Health
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Germ defence - an online app which shows you how to protect yourself and family from coronavirus and other respiratory tract infections

Germ Defence provides information and ideas on how to lower your risk of catching COVID-19 and other viral illnesses. It includes advice on handwashing and mask wearing, keeping a safe distance and not touching your face, and advice on how to look after family and friends who are ill. This scientifically tested digital intervention created by the University of Southampton has already proved to be effective at reducing the spread of viral respiratory tract infections – such as colds and flu but is also applicable to coronavirus.

During a randomised trial of more than 20,000 UK households Germ Defence proved it can help reduce the risk of infection by around 14%. The trial took place during the outbreak of Swine Flu, when there were already increased public health messages about reducing the spread of viruses through handwashing. Despite this raised awareness, people who used the website were still more likely to wash their hands the recommended amount of 10 times a day compared with those who didn’t. As a result they caught less colds and flu, and recovered more quickly from these ailments. This reduction in illness also extended to the people who lived with them, leading to a lower demand for consultations with their doctors.  



Author: Yardley L

Published: 26/10/2020

Publication Type: Online Learning, Web Based Resource