Vol 67, No 4 (2016)
Published online: 2016-12-22

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Cruise tap versus handshake: using common sense to reduce hand contamination and germ transmission on cruise ships

Eilif Dahl
Pubmed: 28009396
IMH 2016;67(4):181-184.


A firm handshake is a widely used greeting, but contaminated fingers and palms can also transfer bacteria and virus. Hand sanitation is important to prevent spreading of contagious diseases, but to wash hands properly takes too much time to ensure satisfactory compliance. Banning the handshake from health care settings has been proposed, but an alternative, less contagious form of greeting must be substituted. Cruise ships are particular vulnerable to infectious diseases that are transferred from person to person. The fist bump, common in some subcultures, has become increasing popular as the greeting-of-choice on smaller cruise vessels. To further reduce the contact area, a modification of the fist bump, the ‘cruise tap’, where only two knuckles briefly touch each other, is recommended.

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