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This may seem like a no-brainer, but it really does make a difference! Good hand washing is the single best defence against the transmission of infections. And you could be doing it wrong!

“Bacterial or viral-borne diseases are spread by droplets from a cough, sneeze, or touch from unwashed hands. Many people do not realize the most common means by which infections are transmitted is through close contact with infected individuals or direct contact with contaminated surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and telephones. Taking a few relatively simple measures can minimize exposure and reduce the incidence of infection.”

You don’t need an expensive antibacterial soap. The key is your hand washing technique! Half of the benefit comes from the friction of running your hands together and thorough rinsing, so make sure you’re doing it right!

  1. Wet your hands with warm running water.
  2. Add soap and then rub your hands together, away from the running water, making lather. Continue for at least 20 seconds using a good amount of friction, rubbing the front and back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Concentrate on your knuckles and don’t forget your wrists.
  3. Rinse your hands well under warm running water. Let the water run back into the sink.
  4. Dry your hands thoroughly on a clean towel, preferably a paper towel that can be easily disposed of. Use the paper towel to shut off the faucets.

“Have waterless soap or wipes available when access to soap and running water is limited. Products containing alcohol with a concentration of at least 60 percent may be useful, but washing with soap and water is still preferable.

Note: If hands or surfaces are visibly soiled with organic material (sputum, feces) handiwipes and waterless soaps are NOT effective because they do not remove the material, but instead, merely smear it around. Soap and water should be used in these instances.”