The most effective thing you can do to protect yourself against the flu or any other infectious disease is to wash your hands. It will not only protect yourself but also prevent the spread of infectious diseases to others.
Hands that look clean can still carry many germs. Germs can spread in water droplets formed from sneezing and/or coughing. These droplets, once on your hands, can spread by touch to your mouth, eyes and even nose. Further, not washing your hands before preparing food, handling raw meat or even after using the toilet can all contribute to spreading germs. Germs left on doorknobs, keyboards and other items can also contribute to illness. The elderly, as well as people with immune systems not working effectively (i.e. HIV patients) can acquire infections easily and preventing the spread is very important for their well-being.
- Wash hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday”)
- Remove any jewelry before you start to wash your hands
- Wash the FRONT and BACK or your hands as well as between your fingers
- Rinse your hands well under WARM running water. Use a rubbing motion.
- Wipe and dry your hands gently, with a paper towel or clean towel.
- Turn the tap off with the paper towel / clean towel to prevent recontaminating your hands
With Alcohol-based products
- Ideal when water/soap are not available
- Use enough product to cover all surfaces of your hand
- Rub hands together until the product has evaporated.
Faisal Kabir, RPh., BSc.Phm