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13:10 PM

KMBC 9: Is your hand sanitizer effective enough to kill the flu?

By Donna Pitman

Hand sanitizer is a popular way to protect yourself from the flu - but does it work? There's some fine print on those products you might want to check.

This season, many of us just can't pump that bottle enough. In many offices and schools they're everywhere you look.

The bottle on my desk?

Expired. A year and a half ago.

"The expiration date on your bottle is the date the manufacturer believes that the alcohol level is going to fall below that protective level of 60 percent," said Dr. Robyn Livingston with Children's Mercy.

We have so many questions. Like, does hand sanitizer really expire? And just how many bottles around us are out of date?

Dr. Livingston is the Head of Infection and Control at Children's Mercy. We asked, can that popular gel, beyond the dates printed on the pumps, still be effective?

"It probably will be," said Livingston. "But, if the alcohol content is low, what you may be doing is actually moving the germs around from one part of your hand to another as opposed to actually killing them.


Read the full article via KMBC.

Learn more about the services offered through the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Mercy.