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To slow an epidemic, focus on handwashing

Adapted from MdLinx

Improving the rates of hand-washing at airports could significantly reduce the spread of many infectious diseases such as the Flu and other viruses including the corona virus.

The study, which is based on epidemiological modeling and simulations, the team estimates that on average, only about 20% of people in airports have clean hands ( washed with soap and water, for at least 15 seconds, within the last hour), which leaves the other 80% are potentially contaminated. Improving that to 60% can slow global disease spread by almost 70%! The CDC and the WHO both indicate that hand hygiene is the most efficient and cost-effective way to control disease propagation. For any given disease outbreak, the authors said, identifying the closest 10 airports with the highest impact and focusing hand-washing education at them would be the most effective way of limiting the disease spread.

There is more to say about hands than hand surgery…

Here is the full reference: Hand‐Hygiene Mitigation Strategies Against Global Disease Spreading through the Air Transportation Network

Washing Your Hands

Adapted from BBC

Washing your hands- straightforward, or is it?

There’s plenty of evidence that washing one’s hands can reduce the spread of disease, only 5% of people wash their hands ‘properly’ ‘all the time’.

10% of 3000 people were witnessed leaving public toilets without washing their hands, and of those who did,33% didn’t use soap. While it is well established that we need to wash our hands properly, there are plenty of myths about what is proper.

Does the water need to be hot to get your hands clean?

In a survey of 500 adults, 69% believed that the temperature of the water has an impact on the effectiveness of hand-washing. Researchers found that water temperature made no statistically significant difference when other factors are controlled. Temperature still affects washing, though, because excessively cold or hot water lets people spend less time washing their hands than comfortable water temperature.

Is anti-bacterial hand wash better than soap?

A 2007 and a 2015 review both concluded that anti-bacterial hand washes  did not reduce the number of bacteria remaining on people’s hands after washing any more than soap did, nor was it any better than soap. Triclosan, a main ingredient on most antibacterial hand soaps, May increase anti-bacterial resistance and that and has been banned in the US and in the European Union.

Do you need to dry your hands afterwards?

Letting new hands air-dry is fine as long as he did not contaminated hands before they try out. Durkan’s transfer to your hands more easily if they’re wet.

Hand dryer or hand towel?

There’s a lot of debate surrounding this one. Most of us don’t want for as long as 45 minutes needed for the hands to dry using hand dry. New were hand dryers take 10 seconds hand and our equivalent to paper towels.

Making toilets nicer also makes a difference. One study observe 3,000 people in the US, found that if the toilets were clean and well-kept, people were more likely to stop and wash their hands properly. When the sinks were dirty, they just wanted to get out of there.

Whichever way you choose to wash and dry your hands, do it for longer than you think.

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