Guardian article: Hygiene theatre: how excessive cleaning gives us a false sense of security

12 July, 2021

Some of you may be interested in this Guardian newspaper article that reminds us that as the evidence changes and knowledge shifts, public health messages - especially catchy phrases - sometimes do not or are hard to forget.

Perhaps others who have knowledge of the latest evidence on transmission would like to comment? Maybe behavioural scientists would also like to share their views?

(I'm reminded of the message given out to children in the UK when I was a child: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. For your interest, here are some other, historical, public health messages: )

Best wishes


HIFA profile: Julie N Reza is a UK-based specialist in communications for biosciences, global health & international development ( She predominantly works with NGOs and not-for-profit organisations. Previously she was the senior science editor at TDR, based at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva; prior to this she worked at the Wellcome Trust, UK, leading educational projects on international health topics including trypanosomiasis and trachoma. She has a PhD in immunology and a specialist degree in science communication. She also has several years research and postgraduate teaching experience. She is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and HIFA Social Media Working Group.

Email: naimareza AT