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Want To Fight Cold and Flu? Take A Stand, Wash Your Hands

Written by Jamal Mack

Nowadays technology is king. Not to give ourselves too much praise, but we’ve advanced a great deal from that good ole industrial revolution where powering items with steam and coal was considered advanced tech. As far as we’ve come we have yet to discover a technology advanced enough to slow down an age old enemy of ours: the common cold. The cold, flu, and other infections have plagued mankind with seemingly cunning and adaptive personality. Each time we think we have a hint of a breakthrough these viruses adapt thus resetting our progress for a cure almost back to square one. However, there is hope yet! Although these age old viruses have out maneuvered our efforts there is ONE method, as simplistic as it is, that research has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be more than effective.


Why wash your hands?

Preventing sickness reduces the amount of antibiotics people use and the likelihood that antibiotic resistance will develop. Hand washing can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections. Reducing the number of these infections by washing hands frequently helps prevent the overuse of antibiotics—the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Hand washing can also prevent people from getting sick with germs that are already resistant to antibiotics and that can be difficult to treat.

How does simply washing your hands with soap reduce the spread of infections and illness?

  • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.

  • Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.

  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.

  • Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.

How to wash your hands properly?

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap

  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you need help with the time try humming the “Happy Birthday” or “ABC’s” song from beginning to end.

  4. Rinse hands well under clean, running water.

  5. Dry hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Cant wash your hands at the moment? Use Hand sanitizer with alcohol base. 

When using hand sanitizer keep these key points in mind so that you may determine the most effective method of success:

  • Many studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

  • Non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers may not work equally well for all classes of germs

  •  Non- alcoholic sanitizer merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright or be more likely to irritate skin than alcohol-based hand sanitizer

  • When hands are heavily soiled or greasy, hand sanitizers may not work well and handwashing should be used.

  • Hand sanitizers cannot remove or inactivate many types of harmful chemicals.

December is National Handwishing Awareness Month so now is a GREAT time to start practicing these methods if you are not already. Bottom line is, if you don’t want to be SICK, wash those hands every chance you GET. For more information on handwashing and prevention of spreading illness and infection please visit:

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