Nose picking found to spread pneumococcus

Hand-to-nose bacterial transmission is possible, study finds

Parents, teachers and doctors have long grappled with the nose-picking child, and plenty of adults don’t mind a good old dig either.

Now scientists have delivered another reason to keep fingers out of nasal passages, with a study showing nose picking, poking or even rubbing are all capable of transferring the pneumococcus bacteria from hand to nose.

For the first time, a UK study has shown bacteria can be transmitted by rhinotillexis, or nose picking, and not just by airborne droplets.

Researchers from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Royal Liverpool Hospital have found that the bacteria can be spread by hand to nose, whether the sample is dry or wet, or whether transferred via a direct pick or a hand rub.

Lead researcher Dr Victoria Connor says the results suggest that ensuring good hand hygiene and keeping toys clean could help to protect young children from catching and spreading the