Were we not all taught that we should cough into our fists? Or even our hands? Now, I understand, it is not considered etiquette to do so any more. For a number of reasons, but the most recently publicised being "Swine" flu, which has reached our shores. Of course, it's really nothing to do with pigs anymore - and everything to do with humans. So we should call it, more correctly, "Human" flu (horses and other living creatures beware!)
The issue is, there are so many of us around, and living so cheek by jowl everywhere, that our bodily proximity is likely to deal us all fairly serious blows, if we don't create a new etiquette about how we relate to one another. And this western (not to mention African) habit of clasping hands, needs to stop.
I would suggest the Jacob Zuma bow from the hips, while holding ones own hands together up to one's lips, in something like an attitude of prayer (sort of Japanese-ish) is a really good substitute for the fiddling about, ending with the flourish of some sort of thumb click, which we are expected to do as we greet each other in this neck of the woods.
It beats washing one's hands every half hour or so. And it sure beats dying!