Sales of hygiene products have increased nearly 50 per cent over the course of the Sars outbreak, according to market researchers. Shower and handwash products were some of the more popular items. Sales of handwash products rose five-fold for the eight weeks ending April 20, compared with the previous two-month period, according to TNS, a market research company. 'Clearly the government's messages about the prevention of Sars have been received and understood,' said Duncan Tyrell, account manager of TNS Hong Kong. 'There is little doubt that this growth in sales has been reinforced by increased advertising of certain personal and household cleaning products.' The Clorox bleach brand has been one of the more popular items. Sales of so-called mid-priced cleaning products - the category to which Clorox belongs - tripled up until April 20. The research study also found that nearly 90 per cent of people have been taking increased hygiene measures since the outbreak began, and more than three-quarters are avoiding crowded places.