Can hand sanitizers like Purell really stop people from getting the flu? - By Darshak Sanghavi - Slate Magazine

Yet the data tell a less compelling story about sanitizers like Purell. In 2005, Boston-based doctors published the very first clinical trial of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in homes and enrolled about 300 families with young children in day care. For five months, half the families got free hand sanitizer and a "vigorous hand-hygiene" curriculum. But the spread of respiratory infections in homes didn't budge, a result that "somewhat surprised" the researchers.