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Our Hand Sanitizing Gel Base kills 99.99% of many common germs and bacteria in as little as 15 seconds while gently moisturizing skin to keep hands soft and smooth, even with frequent use. Why Alcohol and does it work? The active ingredient in hand sanitizer -- usually alcohol -- disrupts the coating of virus and bacteria particles. By damaging the outside of the particle, the virus becomes deactivated, says Andrew Pekosz, associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. The alcohol breaks down the germs' cell wall causing them to die. When applied to the hands it evaporates in seconds. According to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Guidelines for Infection Control Practice, Alcohols applied to the skin are among the safest known antiseptics and have been widely used for years. While no hand sanitizer is indicated to prevent Swine Flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the ways you can help protect yourself from Swine Flu is by practicing good hand hygiene. Specific CDC recommendations include keeping your hands clean by washing with soap and water, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water may not be available, such as when you're on the go.