Good Hand Hygiene – Your Best Defence Against Illness

We are living in uncertain times. With the current pandemic scare and the cold and flu season underway, I’m sure we all want to try and avoid getting sick.

Bacterial infections can be treated with a round of antibiotics. However with sicknesses caused by viruses like the flu or the common cold, you often have to ride it out. Your immune system has to fight the  viral infection by itself, although there may be mediations that can help ease the symptoms.

So it makes sense to take care of your body and do whatever you can to avoid catching anything in the first place

 Your first line of defence…

So what is your first line of defence to avoid getting sick this year is simple – Wash Your Hands!

That’s right.

The simple act of washing your hands frequently with soap and hot water limits the spread of cold and flu viruses and your chance of coming down with them.

And remember to dry them as well. Why?

Because some bacteria can remain on our hands after washing, and it is much easier for these bacteria to spread via wet hands than hands that have been properly dried.

Get into the habit of regular hand washing

Get in the habit of washing your hands whenever you’ve been out in public, and whenever you can throughout the workday. Wash them before you eat or drink food and when hot water and soap aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 

Why is this so important?

Because you are more likely to pick those viruses up with your hands than any other way. Sure, having someone cough in your face doesn’t help, but your chances of getting the flu or coming down with the common cold thanks to contact with a handrail or doorknob are much higher.

A virus does not enter though the skin

The virus is picked up simply as we move about in our day – maybe simply by touching the shopping cart handle when shopping, or simply touching a door handle when you are out in public. It’s now on your hands, which isn’t a big problem by itself. It can’t enter through the skin there. 

The problem arises when you touch your face. It happens a lot more than most of us are aware of. Have you noticed how often we seem to touch our face throughout the day, without being aware of this?

We rub our eyes, touch our nose, or place our fingers too close to our mouth ( or even in our mouth) when we  cough or  eat. The virus makes it to a mucous membrane in any of those areas and it’s right where it wants to be. 

That’s why it’s important to wash your hands. It isn’t some busy work that healthcare professionals give you to make you feel like there’s something you can do. It is your best line of defense. So, what are you waiting for?

So…..go wash your hands! 

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