Staying Healthy During Illness Outbreaks


Major health organizations such as the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the public health agency of Canada agree on the importance of hand hygiene.
Hand washing and hand sanitizing with an alcohol-based hand rub are especially
critical to minimize the spread of germs during times of illness outbreak. Let’s
look at hand-washing major health organizations recommend washing your
hands often with soap and water, wash your hands before you prepare food,
before eating, and before and after caring for people who are sick or
injured. Wash your hands after you use the bathroom, or after you cough or
sneeze, also wash after you touch anything that may carry germs such as
diapers, raw food, animals, and trash the CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and clean warm running water for 20 seconds, if soap and clean water are not available use an alcohol-based hand
sanitizer. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers significantly reduced the number of
germs on skin and are fast-acting. Here’s a simple and effective hand-washing
procedure that the CDC recommends. First wet your hands and then apply soap, next
work the soap into a rich lather remember to work the lather onto the
backs of your hands and in between your fingers it’s also important to work soap
on the fingertips and under nails, wash for about 20 seconds before rinsing.
That’s about the time it takes to sing happy birthday twice, rinse hands under
clean running water at a comfortable temperature, after the soap is completely
rinsed off thoroughly pat your hands dry with a clean dry paper towel. If soap and
water are not available here’s a simple and effective method for
hand sanitizing first put a thumbnail sized amount of hand sanitizer into the
palm of your hand, then rub your hands together including the your hands, wrists, between your fingers, and underneath your nails these are the
places where germs can hide, this should take you about 15 seconds, there’s no
need to dry your hands because alcohol-based hand sanitizers evaporate
quickly. These are two step-by-step techniques to ensure healthy hand
hygiene and reduce the spread of germs that can cause illness. Remember good
hand hygiene is important for your health and the health of people around
you.

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