Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Hand hygiene is very important

Published:Wednesday | March 30, 2016 | 3:00 AM
Hand sanitiser

With the resurgence of the H1N1 virus in Jamaica, persons are being encouraged to utilise preventative measures to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes this illness. Everyday hand hygiene, both hand washing and hand sanitising with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer such as PURELL, is the single most important way to reduce the spread of germs.

Research has shown that people touch their faces an average of 3.6 times per hour, and common objects an average of 3.3 times per hour.

Hand washing or hand sanitising, before and after preparing food, before eating, before and after caring for someone that is ill, after sneezing or coughing, after using the bathroom and after touching anything that has been touched by many people, is important to keep you and your family healthy.

The flu virus spreads easily from person to person. The droplets from a sick person's nose and mouth can travel up to six feet and can land in noses and mouths of people nearby. Practising healthy habits, such as hand hygiene, can help to reduce the risk of illness and infection.

In fact, two studies conducted - using PURELL Hand-Sanitiser and hand hygiene education - led to a 20 per cent reduction in absenteeism in a workplace setting, and 50 per cent reduction in schools.

Attention must be paid to good hand hygiene throughout the day, at home, at work, at school and especially in public areas where people congregate.

The following are recommended to minimise the spread of illness-causing germs:

- Schools and businesses can start by making sure all hand-soap dispensers are in good working order with sealed refills available.

- Businesses and families can establish norms and etiquette for good hand hygiene. Make hand sanitisers easily accessible and available in areas where people are together so hands can be sanitised after sneezing, coughing and at mealtimes.

- Businesses can place hand-sanitiser dispensers near restroom exits to help prompt persons who don't typically wash their hands after using the restroom.

- Individuals can carry alcohol-based hand sanitiser such as PURELL for use when soap and water are not available or practical.