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Global Handwashing Day: Give A (Clean) Helping Hand

Shezaad Dastagir

Did you know that you could be playing a hand in spreading diseases without even knowing it?

A horde of infectious diseases can be easily spread from one person to another because of dirty or contaminated hands. These diseases can range from gastrointestinal infections such as Salmonella, and respiratory infections such as Influenza. Gastrointestinal and respiratory infections can sometimes lead to serious complications, especially among young children, the elderly, or people with a weakened immune system. Thus, regular handwashing is a must.

How dirty hands spread germs

Throughout the day, we touch our eyes, nose, and mouth – a lot of times unknowingly. Unwashed hands can cause germs to get into the body and make us sick, or make others sick too.

  • Germs from unwashed hands can get into food and drinks while eating or cooking
  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to objects like smartphones, tables, or toys
  • Germs from unwashed hands, especially when unwell can be spread to others

When to wash your hands

  • Before you eat or cook
  • After you use the restroom
  • After you clean around the house
  • After handling animals, including pets
  • Before and after visiting sick friends or relatives
  • After you cough or sneeze
  • After you being outside (playing, gardening, walking the dog, etc.)
  • After clearing out the garbage

Regular handwashing is one of the biggest steps you can take toward staying healthy and avoiding the spread of infectious diseases.

Follow these steps for handwashing

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water& then turn off the tap
  • Apply soap and lather your hands by rubbing them together
  • Make sure that you lather the backs of your hands, under your nails and between your fingers
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel

So, staying away from illnesses and not playing the part of their propagation is all, literally in your hands!

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