Health Notes 健康資訊

Handwashing as the First Move

Washing hands frequently bring away most of the germs
— The scientific proof of handwashing in disease prevention

Handwashing is an effective first move in communicable disease prevention!

Early as 1807, an Italian Doctor Guiseppe Alessandro Giannini (1774-1818) introduced isolation, sanitization and handwashing to stop the spread of typhus exanthematicus. This has greatly inspired the way of preventing infectious disease worldwide.

So why does handwashing is effective for infectious disease prevention?

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, feces is one of the main sources of germs, which includes germs causing GI illness like Salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus; and the germs infected and spread through the respiratory system like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease. Usually, those germs could go to hands right after toilet or change a diaper for baby; or from raw meats; or touch the objects that others contacted after cough and sneezed. Please DON’ T underestimate the germs! There are 1 trillion in a 1g of human feces!

Then how does it related to washing hands?

We often unconsciously touch our eyes, nose, and mouth. If we do not wash our hands to keep them clean, we are letting them go into our bodies to infect us! If we do not wash our hands before we consume any food, we will easily get sick from the mouth! If we do not wash our hands, we will easily spread the germs around the environment to infect other people! So, washing hands to keep our hands hygienic and wash away the pathogen is an effective move for preventing communicable disease!

When to Clean your dear Hands?

To keep your hands clean is the first move to prevent infectious diseases. We should keep them hygienic especially on the following occasions:

  • Before & After handling raw food
  • Before & After consuming food & beverages
  • After handling pet/pet food/garbage
  • After going to the toilet/you change a diaper
  • After cough/sneeze and taking care of the patient
  • The right way of cleaning your hands

    The best option to wash away the germs is to wash with running water and (liquid) soap.

    Step 1
    To begin, you need to wet your hands with clean running water first

    Step 2
    Then, you can apply either liquified or simply soap.

    Step 3
    You shall scrub your hands thoroughly with the applied soap: nails, fingers, finger gaps, palm, back of your hands for at least 20 sec

    Step 4
    Finally, rinse your hands under clean running water then dry them with tissue/towel/hand dryer

    The 2nd best option to wash away the germs is to wash with sanitizer and alcohol.

    Step 1
    You may apply either alcohol and sanitizer on your hands

    Step 2
    Then, you scrub your hands.

    Have you washed your hands today?

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