April 21, 2015

How to Prevent the Spread of Germs

Did you know?

  • Hand hygiene is one of the simplest ways to stay healthy. Research has shown that many people do not clean their hands as they should. Cleaning your hands properly is an effective way to reduce your chances of getting sick with influenza or other diseases and to reduce spreading viruses.
  • Did you know that 80% of common infections are spread by our hands? Germs are a part of everyday life. Some bacteria are beneficial and part of our body’s natural protection against disease. Other bacteria and viruses cause disease and are commonly introduced to the body when touching hands to the mouth, nose or eyes.
  • Next to immunization, keeping hands clean is one of the most important ways to stop the spread of disease.

Do your part — Prevent the spread

  • Cough and sneeze into your arm – When you cough and sneeze, you spread germs. These germs (bacteria and viruses) can then lead to others getting sick with the common cold, influenza (the flu), or other respiratory infections.
  • It is estimated that only 34% of people wash their hands after sneezing and coughing, so do your part and cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth after shaking hands or touching hard surfaces like counters and door handles or other surfaces that may harbour influenza and other viruses.
  • Keep common surfaces clean and disinfected.
  1. Using soap and warm water, lather your hands and scrub for 15–20 seconds.
  2. Rinse your hands for 10 seconds in warm running water.
  3. Dry with a clean paper towel, turning off water using the paper towel.

You can also clean your hands using an alcohol-based sanitizer. Be sure to use one with 60% alcohol or greater.

  1. Put some of the hand sanitizer (gel, liquid or foam) on the palm of your hand and rub your hands together.
  2. Cover all surfaces including fingers and wrists, and rub until dry (about 15–25 seconds).

Hand sanitizers don’t work if hands are soiled. When hands are soiled, wash with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a towelette that contains detergent. Then use a hand sanitizer.

For more posts like these, visit the Physical Wellness page.