Spread the Word, Not the Germs!

Can you believe one of the easiest and most inexpensive preventative medicine strategies is literally available at your fingertips and costs less than one penny? It is called hand washing.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection.” Hand transmission is a critical factor in the spread of bacteria and viruses causing disease such as colds, flu, and food-borne illness. See Tips on Hand Washing from the CDC.

According to the Henry the Hand – Champion Handwasher website, there are four important principles of handwashing.
1. Wash your hands when they are dirty or before eating.
2. Do not cough into your hands.
3. Do not sneeze into your hands.
4. Above all, do not put your fingers in your eyes, nose, or mouth.

This website also includes a song and videos that are part of their program for schools. Students are trained to stay away from the T Zone (mucous membranes around the eyes, nose, and mouth) as this is where the vast majority of diseases enter the body. In fact, These are the entry point for 100% of all respiratory and gastro-intestinal diseases. Children are also encouraged to try the sniff test; if hands smell clean, they are clean.

Stop the spread of germs that can make you and others sick! Influenza (flu) and other serious respiratory illnesses are spread by cough, sneezing or unclean hands.  In addition to good handwashing, the CDC recommends these precautions to help stop the spread of germs: To help stop the spread of germs,

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put your used tissue in the waste basket.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • You may be asked to put on a facemask to protect others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.