Fact Check: Did Study Reveal Men with beards carry more germs than Dogs

Fact Check: A small study, involving dog-borne disease in comparison to men's facial hair and MRI scanners started rumors that deemed Beards as “Deadly”

Daily Mail Article "Dogs and Beards" Hoax

You got to love persuasive essays. People will skew details, throw in a few facts to make it seem plausible and voila! You have mass panic and hysteria about beards. You know what I found even more interesting? No one, not even MSN cited the source of the publication, they all cited Daily Mail; who, in my opinion, obviously are hurting for money. I spent 20 minutes clicking on advertisements to even clear out enough ads to read the article.

The Source

Scientific Study

Apparently, yours truly, who does not have a degree in investigative journalism did what not even MSN did; I found the source. Now like you, I am not going to spend $40 to read an article about how dogs “with hair” have less germs then men “with hair”. You can read it for yourself if you would like it is titled “Would it be safe to have a dog in the MRI scanner before your own examination”. Shame on you MSN! I guess writing creditable articles is just not as important then writing what sells. News flash, “This Just in, Don’t Believe Everything You Hear”.

The facts

Washing Your Hands

The facts are simple, they needed to create two very close control groups. The whole point of this argument was to alleviate peoples concerns about animals using the same medical equipment as humans. See, people were genuinely concerned about sanitary conditions in a hospital in regards to medical equipment being repurposed to use on humans. My speculation is that this study was likely a result of some malpractice suit. The key points were this:

  • Bearded men harbour significantly more microbes than dogs
  • Dogs are no risk to humans if they use the same MRI
  • Deficits in hospital hygiene are a relevant risk for patients

There are the real facts. The last bullet about proper hospital hygiene are a relevant concern, also known as “Should pose a concern” to patients.

You should also know that the Journal of Public Health and Development did a study back in 2012 about washing your hands. They cited that “Even though proper hand washing is the most effective and easiest way to prevent many diseases, unfortunately many people do not practice hand washing correctly”. They attributed that washing before you ingest food and after you use the toilet greatly reduced the mortality rate of children under 5 by 66%.

Proper Scientific Study

A rumor began on 01 May, 2015 about how a supposed “Study” was conducted entitled “Study: Men’s Beards are Filled with Poop and Nasty Bacteria”. Snopes, quickly disproved this study, again with creditable sources, saying, “[…] bacteria known to associate poop is not necessarily literal poop. In fact, it’s probably not. And saying that something is gross for being covered in bacteria is pretty ridiculous, because anything that exists in our physical realm is definitely going to be covered in bacteria”.

With that said, lets cause some panic, according to a study conducted by Dr. Halasa, entitled “Bioeconomic modeling of intervention against clinical mastitis caused by contagious pathogens”. this study was to assess the epidemiologic (Study of distribution) and economic consequences of intervention against contagious clinical mastitis during lactation. In other words, the cost to the Internal Market Information or IMI, in the detection and prevention of the environmental spread of Escherichia coli also known as E coli in dairy cows.

See isn’t that preposterous. Scared yet? This publication was denoting the most cost-effective way to detect, treat, and prevent harmful E Coli in Dairy cows, as most forms of E Coli are not harmful or contagious. This also known as Return on Investment, or ROI which is common in all forms of marketing and most notably are demonstrated in Lean Sigma, and Supply Chain Management or SCM.

Conclusion: False

False Background

As you can obviously discern, these journalists would like to have you believe that if you have a beard, then you are a disgusting, homeless, barbarian, who shortens the life of everyone you touch with your Manly beard. When in fact, the more you know or understand about the microbiology the more you will understand that the reason humans are exposed to more germs then your four-legged counterpart is because you do not live inside a box 24/7. If you lived inside of four walls and never left the comfort of your home then you might have less germs as well. As such, wash your hands, and stop getting hung up on germs. We all have them. And what can I say, “Bad News Sells”!

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