Really? The Claim: Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer Stops Norovirus Spread

Some viruses, like influenza, are coated in lipids, “envelopes” that alcohol can rupture. But non-enveloped viruses, like norovirus, are generally not affected.

Bleach is effective against norovirus, and can be used to decontaminate countertops and surfaces. And for people, the best strategy may be washing hands with plain old soap and water.

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied 91 long-term care facilities. During the winter of 2006-07, they identified 73 outbreaks, 29 of which were confirmed to be norovirus.

The facilities where staff members used alcohol-based sanitizers, were six times more likely to have an outbreak of norovirus than the facilities where the staff preferred using soap and water.

The C.D.C. says that as a means of preventing norovirus infection, alcohol-based sanitizers can be used “in addition” to hand washing, never as a substitute.


Hand sanitizers can reduce the spread of some viruses, like the flu. But against norovirus they are largely ineffective; better to use soap and water.


Santegra Hand Sanitizer Foam has proven effectiveness against norovirus. It was studied against norovirus according to EN 14476 standard test method by independent and accredited testing laboratory MikroLab GmbH (Bremen, Germany).