One of the most common ways to protect yourself from infection and diseases is to wash your hands. But, according to scientists, we are probably doing that wrong.
More than fifty countries in the world are affected by this deadly virus, announces the World Health Organization. Its risk assessment is at the highest level, and now is the time to use the easiest way to stop this disease, to have our proper, consistent hand hygiene.
During these days, the people from the WHO, continuously say that regular hand-washing, or using a hand sanitizer, is the best way to stop the spreading of the COVID-19. The hand-washing process is emphasized on its highest level, because the coronavirus dies with the process of disinfection, just like every other virus.
“Your risk depends on where you live, your age & general health. WHO can provide general guidance. You should also follow your national guidance and consult your local health professionals”-@DrTedros #COVID19 #coronavirus
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 28, 2020
Many studies all over the world show that hand-washing can stop the spread of life-threating diseases, and it can even save lives.
The impact of hand-washing on the diseases affecting the respiratory system cuts down the infections by around 15-20%.
But, the experts claim that it, clean hands, affects other diseases, not only COVID-19. A review of the research made in 2008, proved that stringent hand-washing protocols reduced the diarrhea cases by 29% in the countries with high income. But, in countries with low-income, the percentage is 31.
If we say diarrhea, you may think that it is not a severe disease, but more than 2,000 children die daily because of it. And, contrary to this, respiratory infections, like pneumonia, kill millions of people annually.
Furthermore, hygiene interventions will decrease the number of sick days in schools. A study was made in elementary school in Denmark. The researchers asked the students to use the hand-sanitizers three times daily. The results compared to the ones in the previous year showed 66% fewer children with four or more sick days and 20% more without sick days. Hand hygiene contains more science than in other forms of infection control.
We are not doing that right!
Journal of Environmental Health published a study that tells that only five percent of the American population wash their hands right. The CDC recommends twenty seconds of hands-washing, but people wash their hands for about six-second.
If we are not washing our hands properly, then we can’t stop the diseases from spreading further away. Also, we present to you some hacks and tips for a proper hand-washing process, recommended by Larson and CDC.
1. The duration of the hand-washing needs to be at least twenty seconds.
The time that we waste washing our hands is crucial. During the process, we need to cover and scrub each part of our hands thoroughly. To be more precise, CDC shares an explanation for every single step. First, we need to wet our hands with clean water. Then, apply soap on every visible surface of our hands, scrub well for twenty seconds minimum. The last step is to rinse your hands and then dry them. CDC tells that if you don’t know how much is 20 seconds, you can sing the song Happy Birthday, twice.
2. Wash the fingertips and under your nails.
If you didn’t know, most of our germs are under our fingernails, and of course, on the fingertips. Also, Larson says that when we wash our hands mostly, we skip these critical parts.
3. Every time you go to the bathroom, wash your hands. Also, wash them after blowing your nose, coughing, and sneezing.
Don’t forget to clean them before you eat. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t touched anything with your hands, you need to sanitize them. Germs on our hands are always present, especially in the bathroom.
4. Use A hand-sanitizer right after coughing, sneezing, or communicating with sick people.
In the past, many studies were made based on Larson’s hypothesis, that the virus can survive and live on the humans’ hands.
The studies presented that 10 minutes is the duration of the life of the virus on our hands. Because of this, people need to wash their hands to stop the spreading.
Shreds of evidence are here to back up these claiming. Washing-hands can save lives.
From the information mentioned above, we can conclude that besides hand-washing, we need to take care of not touching our nose, mouth, and eyes too. The CDC shared additional orders that we need to respect to avoid COVID-19.
• Avoid contact with sick people.
• In case you are sick, stay home.
• When coughing, use a tissue and throw it in the trash.
• Often clean and disinfect every object and surface, which is frequently touched, with a cleaning spray or wipe.
• You should use a mask only if you are sick, if you are a medical worker, or if you are taking care of an ill person.
• If it is possible, we recommend washing your hands instead of using a hand sanitizer.
According to Larson, the sanitizers are active when they are on your hands. If you are annoyed by your wet hands, keep it on 10 seconds minimum.
Students from the University of Michigan discovered that requiring students in residence halls wearing masks and an alcohol-based sanitizer, reduced the flu-like symptoms for 75%. But, also, they found out that the masks only, as a protective tool, didn’t provide any help, and that the hand-sanitizers were the ones responsible for the fantastic results.
One of the most common questions is the dilemma if we should use a soap or a sanitizer for our hands. The CDC answered that we need to wash our hands with soap as most as possible, but when we don’t have soap and water, then we should use the hand-sanitizer.
Alcohol is an antiseptic, but hand-washing is the best for cleaning off stuff. So, if we have sputum, if you have vomit, crap, urine, or anything else, soap and water are the most practical solutions.