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Preparing For Hand Sanitizer-Resistant Infections

February 20, 2012 by  

Preparing For Hand Sanitizer-Resistant Infections

Recently, I was reminded about the importance of being able to self-support. Earlier this month, hundreds of passengers on two cruise ships, the Voyager of the Seas and the Crown Princess, contracted norovirus and experienced extreme “digestive system distress.”

This particular virus has a couple of interesting features. First, it has a dense outer membrane that is very resistant to alcohol in general and alcohol-based hand sanitizers in particular. No amount of alcohol-based hand sanitizer is going to kill it. You simply must remove it from your skin with an advanced hygiene technique called “soap and water.” Second, people who contract this particular virus normally remain contagious for two weeks after recovering.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we see an increase in viruses like this over the next several years. Had this virus been engineered, I’d say the creator was an evil genius. In reality, viruses are simply rugged survivalists that embody the credo of “improvise, adapt and overcome.” It seems only natural that as people use hand sanitizer more and more in place of soap and water, virus mutations that are impervious to alcohol will emerge as the dominant strains.

This isn’t a criticism against alcohol-based hand sanitizers, only a clarion call that hand sanitizer may not always be the cure-all that it’s made out to be and that solid, fundamental hygiene skills should always remain a primary habit.

In fact, Medical News Today reported last August about a presentation at an American College of Preventative Medicine meeting on 161 long-term care facilities that either had a preference for alcohol-based hand cleaners or a preference for soap and water. The report showed that 53 percent of facilities that had a preference for alcohol-based cleaners had norovirus outbreaks as compared to only 18 percent of facilities that had a preference for soap and water.

To be fair, the statistical significance of this study is questionable because of the small sample size, the fact that the groups were segmented due to “preference” and the fact that we can’t know for sure that 100 percent of the outbreaks were accurately identified. Nonetheless, it does mesh with the biological reality that the norovirus isn’t as vulnerable to alcohol as other viruses and bacteria.

This story should also serve as a reminder that large groups of people in close proximity encourage the development, mutation and spread of disease. We’ve seen this with every major flu outbreak for the past 100 years. We see it in dorms, prisons and shelters. We’ve seen it with OWS. We saw it with the two cruise lines. We will see it in the future anytime people, particularly stressed people with weakened immune systems, are in close proximity for extended periods of time, such as in food lines, disaster shelters, etc.

Timing affects the severity of the flu virus each year. In parts of the country where the flu starts hitting critical mass right before Christmas break (and spring break and Thanksgiving to a lesser degree), the flu tends to peter out when kids break for these holidays. But in parts of the country where the flu hits critical mass outside of those holiday times, the close proximity of large numbers of children with questionable or undeveloped hygiene habits helps the flu to spread like wildfire.

What should you do? Here are three quick tips from

  • Get Vitamin D: Aim for 20 minutes of daily full-body (mostly) sun exposure. (Optimal Vitamin D levels can lower your chance of getting the flu by 80 percent.
  • Avoid sugar and processed foods.
  • Get enough rest (so you don’t need caffeine to function). Getting less than six hours of sleep each night increases your chance of contracting illness by as much as 300 percent.

I devote an entire section to this topic in the Urban Survival Course, but a few other quick tips are:

  •  Wash your hands often. Doing so will kill viruses, bacteria, etc. on your hands, and remove them from your hands.
  • To the extent that you can, avoid touching your face. If you have to touch your face, avoid touching your eyes and nose.
  • Use a paper towel to open the restroom door when leaving. Remember that 50 percent to 75 percent of people leave restrooms without washing their hands.
  • Consider using a saline nasal wash (with purified water) at least once a day to help physically remove viruses, bacteria, etc. from your sinuses. Read up on this technique before trying it, as there are some techniques that can spread infection in certain cases.
  • Limit your caffeine intake as much as possible so that you’ll be able to reach the deeper levels of sleep. Caffeine has a half-life of six hours. That means that if you have 200 mg of coffee at noon, approximately 100 mg will still be in your system at 6 p.m. and 50 mg at midnight. Regardless of whether you think your body is immune to caffeine, it does negatively impact your sleep. Sleep is one of the primary tools the body uses to build and recharge the immune system. If you need lots of caffeine to function, it’s a warning sign of a sleep deficit. If you are able to go to sleep immediately after consuming caffeine, it’s most often an indication of exhaustion and/or a blood sugar issue, and the negative effect on deep sleep remains.

If you still want a portable hand cleaning solution, try Wet Ones. Their active ingredient, benzethonium chloride, is effective against norovirus.

More fundamentally, the stories from the cruise lines serve as a reminder of how important it is to be able to self-support after a disaster and to aggressively quarantine sick people if you find yourself in a crowded situation, such as multiple families joining together. It’s also a lesson to people doing large-scale disaster planning to look for post-disaster solutions that are distributed in nature and not centralized.

As an example, a church stocking supplies to be able to feed people after a disaster may want to consider having five, 10 or 20 smaller locations rather than one big centralized location. Distributing supplies is more expensive, requires more people and is less efficient, but it is also more stable and less likely to be wiped out by a single problem.

A Book Suggestion

I just finished a book that I’ve been telling friends that they have to buy called Harbinger. It is an absolute page-turner fiction novel that lays out the real-life parallels between the fall of Israel to the Assyrians as told in the book of Isaiah to 9/11, the 2008 crash and more. The book refers to the Bible throughout, so if that’s a problem for you, you’ve been advised. If, though, you’re like me and enjoy biblically based fiction, you are going to fly through this book in a couple of sittings.

What are your thoughts on the cruise line virus? Do you have any plans for this or future flu seasons in the event that it’s particularly widespread or particularly deadly? If you’re part of a church or group that is active in disaster planning, I’d love to hear whether your approach is centralized or distributed and why you came to the conclusions you did. Please share your thoughts and comments by commenting below:

God bless and stay safe,
–David Morris

Dr. David Eifrig Jr.

is the editor of two of Stansberry's best advisory services. One of his advisories, Retirement Millionaire, is a monthly letter showing readers how to live a millionaire lifestyle on less than you'd imagine possible. He travels around the U.S. looking for bargains, deals and great investment ideas. Already his average reader has saved $2,793 since 2008 (documented in each Retirement Millionaire issue). He also writes Retirement Trader, a bi-monthly advisory that explains simple techniques to make large, but very safe, gains in the stock and bond markets. This is a pure finance play and the reason Porter Stansberry loves having "Doc" on the team. Doc holds an MBA from Kellogg and has worked in arbitrage and trading groups with major Wall Street investment banks (Goldman Sachs). In 1995, he retired from the "Street," went to UNC-Chapel Hill for medical school and became an ophthalmologist. Now, in his latest "retirement," he joined Stansberry & Associates full-time to share with readers his experiences and ideas.

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  • Mae Miller


    • FreedomFighter


      In our hospitols and medical clinics NOWare infections they cannot kill. Things that eat your skin to bone and doctors have to amputate to stop it.

      I have personally seen raging gay patients biting there lip and spitting blood on staff, just because they are mad they have Aids, With the way Obama care is working – staff can literally almost do nothing to protect themselves from this.

      I have even seen one that had gaping sores all over his body running around naked grabbing people to smear the sores on hospitol visitors. Police came for this one, but the guy was back in less that 2 days. Obama care at work again…

      That and drug resistent TB, virus infections that some doctors swear are Bio-Weapons, all hush hush because you will ge fired if you say it.

      Good luck guys, its getting bad out there.

      Laus Deo
      Semper Fi

      • Old Henry


        Be glad that we are on the way out, and not on the way in. However, I do lay awake at night worrying about our kids and grandkids.

      • Joe H

        I NEVER use hand sanitizers. I DO use soap and water enough that my hands dry out in the winter. I always take antibiotics till they are finished. I know the popular belief is that exposing bacteria to them but not killing them can’t make “super” bugs but well, I don’t get sick very often and if I do it doesn’t last long.

  • Sirian

    As long as we keep adding more and more “sanitizers” our natural defenses will be weakened. The end result, an increase in the resistance of various bacteria, viruses etc. to the present anti-biotics that have helped our general population over the past fifty years. So, what’s next? All depends on whether people stop being so utterly ridiculously gullible. No telling what the new generation, and the ones to follow, will end up with.

    • Karolyn

      Amen! I have never, and never will, use hand sanitizer and do not get sick. Germaphobes are the ones who get sick the most.

      • Joe H

        Gee, karolyn I’ll be sure to tell that to the next aids patient I see!!!!

  • Rennie

    Trying vitamin C and D3 right now and trying to get outside and work a little everyday (besides walking the dog), and find that hotwater with that half teaspoon or so of cider and vinegar and a little less of lemon extract first thing in the morning does help cut and loosen the phlegm without using OTC flue medicine, and using a teaspoon of honey in hot water at other times when my throat is really sore (yes I know, watch the sugar). Every spring I say I’m going to harvest, dry and attempt making tea from colt’s foot (same for rose hips) but never get to it so just rely on ricola cough drops instead, since I quit using menthol drops I don’t suffer from upset stomach issues. I have only gotten a flu shot twice and been the sickest afterwards so don’t figure on doing that again. What I would buy from the store right now that I don’t have, would be cranberry-pomengrante juice, although I’ve found that can irritate my throat. Homemade applesauce seems to be the most soothing thing (no sugar added) for a sore throat, and avoiding dairy products. Something I always find remarkable is how much a cold virus and cancer seem to love and hate the same things?

    • MNIce

      Two things: I tried harvesting rose hips and discovered they were loaded with maggots (fruit flies?) and were nothing but skin and seeds. You’ll need to take steps to block the little critters if you want to get anything useful.

      The similarity you noted between viruses and cancers is that both require lots of raw material to make DNA and outer membranes. The outer shell of a virus is made of protein and sugars. I’ve found i can shorten and reduce the severity of a cold by restricting my diet at the onset to fruits and vegetables – cut out meats, dairy products and starches. This starves the tiny monsters.

    • Old Henry

      Yes Rennie, a few years ago I began garggling with warm water and salt when ever I had the slightest feeling of getting a sore throat and found that it was a very good wy to clear all the phlem from my throat and mouth.

      About 8 months ago I began doing the sinus flush at least once per day and I have not had any illness since. It also has also greatly improved my breathing.

    • Joe H

      don’t know if you can afford them or not, but during cold and flu season, I start eating clementines everyday. I haven’t gotten the flu shot since being is service circa 1969. I ended up in the hospital twice within 24 hours of getting the shot so even the army gave me a profile against it. I haven’t had the flu since! I have had pneumonia three times so I do get that shot. Haven’t had it since starting it. I spent a week in the hospital isolation room taking care of my handicapped son when he had avian flu and never got the sniffles. Guess I’m doing SOMETHING right.

  • Claudia Walker

    I taught my kids there are no such thing as germs! We are not so vulnerable that by some whim we just catch a virus or bacteria. Our bodies are teaming with all kinds of bacteria friendly and unfriendly.We need bacteria to digest our food. In a healthy body all these bacteria llive in harmony with each other. We have gotten away from healthy eating havits and instead eat processed fake food laden with chemicals. Our bodies do their best to find nutrients they can use but alas there is nothing there. The body becomes unbalanced and the ‘germs’ take over and we become ‘sick’.

    • Old Henry

      There is much truth in what you say. If we maintain our body’s pH at 7.4, or slightly above, which is an alkalyn state germs, bacteria, viruses, disease cannot survive in our bodies.

      If our body’s pH drops below that level we are headed toward an acidic state which allows those things to thrive.

    • Joe H

      May your kids learn different the easy way!! Look at how many Athletes and olympians get sick with colds and flu!!

  • GRusling

    First, antibiotics only work for BACTERIAL infections, not for ANY virus, so quit taking them unless you KNOW you have a bacterial infection! They have NO EFFECT on a virus, but your body will build antibodies against them just the same, so the more often you take them the less effect they have.

    Next, no virus or bacteria known to man can survive contact with silver. COLLOIDAL SILVER WORKS, no matter what the pharmaceutical companies and their MD surrogates tell you. Not only that, it’s easy to make your own and relatively inexpensive. You can drink it, apply it directly to skin lacerations or use it in a nasal mist. If you drink it take only two ounces a day, and take it EVERY day. You’ll find that the various stomach viruses which routinely make the rounds every year will pass you by. Make sure whatever version you use is filtered through a “1 Micron” filter, which completely eliminates the “Blue Man” symptom, which is mostly hype to start with.

    Remember, there are good bacteria and bad bacteria. Good Bacteria in your stomach help digest the food you eat so keep your oral dosage in the 2 – 3 ounce per day range, which will leave them healthy (they live in your lower stomach) while all the food and drink you take in will be exposed to the silver in your upper stomach.

    Colloidal silver, used routinely as a nasal mist will virtually eliminate all sinus infections…

    • Sirian

      I understand where you’re coming from, no disagreement, but here’s the minor problem that most people will think of it as – OK, what’s the cost of Colloidal Silver? Whenever something like that is mentioned, silver/gold etc., that is the first thing that pops into peoples minds – how much? Secondly, OK, where can I get it on a very regular basis and is this going to be conveniently controlled by Uncle Scam in the not so distant future? See what I’m saying? Again, no disagreement but these two are the things that most people will probably think of and in turn will be diverted from even trying it.

      • GRusling

        Sirian: Anything is toxic if used to excess, even water as FreedomFighter points out. Only the wealthy can afford to “buy” colloidal silver at the health-food store for daily usage, but a quick search across the Internet will find both the equipment and the procedure for making your own, and it’s neither expensive nor complicated. Their are only two ingredients… distilled water and pure silver, either in wire or flat strap form. For less than two hundred dollars you can buy the equipment and enough silver to last for several years, and anyone who can build a fire can make distilled water from whatever fresh water source is available, like your kitchen faucet. You can also buy it for about a dollar a gallon at most grocery stores.

        If silver, in some reasonable quantity is toxic, then I’ve been dead for many years. I have a Lady-friend who drinks it and has for over 20 years to control Lymes Disease, and it’s the only thing she’s found that works. She’s 73 and still going strong. Not only is she healthy, she’s also still PINK, not blue!

        How often does Uncle Sam inspect your kitchen? That’s where I make it and you can too. Only if you start selling it do you need to worry about government, which only does one thing well… spend money…

    • FreedomFighter

      The SilverLungs (pH) colloidal silver generator is a highly cost-effective silver generator that produces trillions of (0.23 nm) silver ions and includes a protocol to convert your ionic solutions into true colloidal solutions. The colloidal particles created range between 1-10 nm’s in diameter. Buying and consuming silver solutions regularly can be quite costly and having the ability to create your own “on site” can be vital in times of need.

      Laus Deo
      Semper Fi

      • Old Henry

        I have also read that it only has a 30-day shelf life, so that which you buy in a store may be of no value.

        As with fruits and vegetables, fresh is best for nutrition and effectiveness. (I seem to have gone beyond my shelf life and have begun my Lazy-Boy life…)

      • Joe H

        Oh I don’t know, some of your posts here have gotten kinda FRESH!!! LOL!!!!!

  • raw

    Was on a cruise ship once where something broke out, half the staff & crew got severe vomiting & diarrehea, it was wicked. But I did lose 10 lbs (in 1 week) Thank heavens for small favors. The staff was almost all Filipino, & they tend to have weak cleaning rituals; I don’t mean to stereotype, just watch for it is all I’m saying.
    Kids are germ bombs, always have been. My spouse & I are older (neither of us have kids) & have weakened immune systems to begin with, so am not apologizing for shunning parents & kids, always. Stay away or risk getting your feelings hurt.
    As more & more people are coraled into cities look for more & more dire illnesses. Countrylife isn’t for everyone, just those who want to stay well.

  • Noni

    Colloidal silver – silver IS toxic, so use with caution when NOTHING else will work.
    Flu shots – suspension medium contains MERCURY. Would you rather have dementia/Alzheimer’s or the flu?

  • Cliffystones

    I think of it this way. Using hand sanitiser may kill the bacteria, but the dead corpses are still stuck to your hands. Would anybody slap a cockroach with the palm of their hand, proceed to smear around the “bug juice” on their hands and then continue with what they were doing? It’s a gross analogy I know, but only different in the “size” of the problem. Washing with soap and water should always be the first choice. Hand sanitiser should only be used when water isn’t available.

    • Old Henry

      Thanks Cliffy! That took care of supper. LOL!

      • Joe H

        They recommended something above for that weak stomach! LOL!!

  • tswafford

    Mr. Morris, the book you mention, The Harbinger, is not a work of fiction. It is a real life episode that occurred on and after September 11, 2001, and how our leaders in Washington did and said the exact same thing that the people and leaders said in the Northern Kingdom of Israel, whereby they proclaim their pride and arrogance of heart against God for having just judged them using their enemies. What occurred in Isaiah 9 is just what happened to America on September 11th and through the arrogance of their hearts, our leaders proclaimed defiane to God rather than repentance. for those wanting to know more about this “Harbinger” they can go to YouTube and search for “The Harbinger” the full version. It is absolutely amazing and will open minds and hearts about the real state of America today.

  • Carol

    Husband and I were on the Crown Princess, for a 2 week stint with second week tacked on after the sickly week. We had no difficulty but were amazed that quarantined passengers didn’t feel it necessary to mind the rules regarding staying in your cabin. It was amazing to find that some folk didn’t “get it” and were out roaming around.

    One thing we tried to do, and do anyhow, is to close the toilet lid before flushing. Those germs can fly out and cause much damage. Something to think about.

    Princess line was so much more than fair regaring their handling of the entire situation. Full credit for first week, for those going on, a bus ride to Orlando and a first class hotel accomodation, an aoverly generous food allowance for the time in Orlando and 25% discount on a cruise of your choice to be completed by the end of 2014. Now, that is generous!!! We feel very loyal to Princess, that is for sure.

  • diane

    I use Nutronix Silversol everyday as a mouth rinse after brushing my teeth for a period of 6 minutes each time. It will get into my bloodstream after 6 minutes, therefore killing any bacteria, virus, or any toxins, that may be lurking. I don’t remember the last time I was sick. It also keeps my gums healthy and stops any teeth problems before they start. I put silver drops in the my dogs’ bowl everyday, too. Keeps them healthy. I brush my teeth with silvergel also. Great stuff! I don’t take antibiotics. My doctors know this and don’t ever order them for me. They know better. Think about using silversol on a daily basis. I understand that the Surgeon General of the Air Force has stockpiled silver for his troops. I’m slowly but surely convincing my family members to try silversol. They know it works better than antibiotics. Give it a try.

  • FreedomFighter

    Insider Warns Family Of EMP Strike On U.S. This Year

    Apparently it will be this year, and “sooner rather than later”. It sounded like it could be a nationwide hit. This child of an insider was then sent a 1984 heavy-duty truck by this parent (no computerized circuitry) and told, I paraphrase, “When it happens you’ll have 30 minutes to make it out of the city. And even then you’ll only have a one-in-three chance of survival.”

    I post this here because its the survival portion of the sight…never know whats going to happen, so a FYI for you guys.

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

    • Joe H

      If I’m not mistaken, he had better check that truck out close. The first electronic ignitions started in 1979, now If i’m stillnot mistaken wouldn’t the electronic ingitions be sunk as sure as the computerizes ones? for about a thousand dollars, you can put the parts for your later vehicles in a faraday box and install them AFTER the EMPs pass. Just sayin.


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