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Jul 28, 2014 4:15 PM

Study: 'Fist bumping' less germ-y than handshaking

Could a fist bump be a cleaner, better way for people to greet each other?

British researchers have done an experiment that seems to say yes.They tested just how many bacteria are transferred hand to hand during a handshake, a high-five and a fist bump.

Handshakes are the worst, they found, while a high-five passed along half as many bacteria. Fist bumps were the cleanest greetings, David Whitworth of Britain's Aberystwyth University found.

"Adoption of the fist bump as a greeting could substantially reduce the transmission of infectious disease between individuals," Whitworth and colleagues report in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Our society dictates that when meeting someone new the polite thing to do is shake their han

The common handshake is great if you want to make someone sick. Infectious disease experts have a better and safer solution.

"Rather than replace the handshake with something else that has contact, probably the better approach to keep patients safe is really not to do it at all." said Dr. Mary Lou Manning from Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

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