According to a new study, a handshake transfers more bacteria than other forms of hand-on-hand action.
Scientists at Aberystwyth University in Wales are calling for the widespread adoption of the fist bump instead, especially during flu outbreaks.
Public Health England whimsically suggested a Victorian-age bow or curtsy would be even safer.
The researchers took a pair of sterile rubber gloves and dipped one into a bacterial-broth so the outside was completely coated in E. coli.
They then performed a range of hand maneuvers including handshakes of varying intensities, fist bumps and high-fives.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, showed a handshake transferred 10 times as many bacteria as a meeting of fists, while a palm-to-palm high-five was somewhere in-between.
It is thought the smaller area of contact and shorter duration in the bump reduced the spread of bacteria.
It is not the first time the argument has been raised. There have been calls in the Journal of the American Medical Association to ban handshakes from hospitals.
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