The Daily Ardmoreite reminds us today that hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the transmission of disease, especially during influenza season. Oklahoma public health officials are using National Hand Washing Awareness Week, Dec. 5-11, as an opportunity to remind people about this simple and inexpensive disease prevention technique.
“Hand washing helps prevent catching and spreading colds, hepatitis A, meningitis, and infectious diarrhea, as well as many other diseases,” said Oklahoma State Department of Health Epidemiologist, Becky Coffman, RN, MPH. “The effective way to wash your hands is to wet your hands and apply liquid or clean bar soap. Rub your hands vigorously together for at least 10 to 15 seconds to dislodge and remove germs, and then rinse your hands well and dry them.”
Coffman said the new alcohol-based hand rubs are effective in reducing the number of germs on skin if your hands are not visibly soiled. The rubs are fast acting and cause less skin irritation, but it is important to remember that they are not effective when the hands are visibly soiled. The benefits of these hand sanitizers are their convenience, speed, and ability to use when soap and water are not readily available.