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Regular hand washing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from germs that cause gastrointestinal diseases and respiratory infections such as the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These infections can make you sick and cause serious complications.
When you touch a contaminated surface, object, or people’s hands and touch your; eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, you risk infecting yourself or spreading germs to others.
How to wash your Hands
According to the US Centers for Disease Control, the correct hand washing technique to prevent the spread of germs are as follows:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice to keep track of time
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them
Correct handwashing technique to reduce spread of COVID-19 Virus
Hand washing is only effective in preventing the spread of infection if it is done properly. You should pay special attention to the areas that are most commonly missed which are thumbs, nails, cuticles and the webs between your fingers.
- Wet hands with running water
- Apply appropriate soap
- Rub palm to palm
- Rub your right palm over the back of your left hand and your left over the back of your right hand
- Rub palm to palm with your fingers interlaced
- Rub with the backs of your fingers gripped by the opposite palm – each hand in turn
- Clasp your right thumb in your left palm and rub round and round, then vice-versa with left thumb and right palm
- Rub round and round with fingers of your right hand in palm of your left hand and vice versa
- Rub your left wrist round and round with the fingers of your right hand and vice versa
- Rinse thoroughly under running water
- Close the tap with the back of your elbow
- Dry hands thoroughly using one paper towel for each hand.
When to wash your hands
- Eating food.
- Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Before, during, and after preparing food.
- Before and after caring for a sick person.
- Before and after treating a cut or wound.
- Using the toilet
- Changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- Blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- Handling pet food or pet treats
- Touching garbage
- Being in a public place and touching frequently touched surfaces or items such as tables, door knobs, shopping carts, etc