Health News

Hand Hygiene: Back to the Basics

Science has shown that proper hand washing hygiene is the best choice (and bargain) in preventing most viral infections. With such a straightforward and simple process, it’s hard to believe that only 5% of people wash their hands properly (Source).The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds to effectively kill germs.

Need a timer? Just hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end, twice, while scrubbing your hands with soap and lukewarm water.

If you do not have access to clean water, a 60% alcohol based hand sanitizer is the next best option. However, it should by no means be considered a reliable replacement for hand washing. Here are some numbers according to various studies from the CDC:

  • One in five people in the US do not wash their hands
  • Your cell phone is dirtier than your toilet seat! Beware of the bacteria
  • 80% of all infections are spread through dirty hands
  • In the US alone, hospitals get an estimated 722,000 infections per year, that’s about 1 infection for every 25 patients

All in all, if using 20 seconds of your time to wash your hands properly can protect you from countless infections and viruses, why wouldn’t you do it?