The CDC says hand washing is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
It is important to remember that we all have a major role in containing the COVID-19 virus, and we need to work together to be successful at combating it. Every day, the story regarding the novel COVID-19 virus unfolds, and we must all be vigilant in obtaining our information from reliable sources to effectively implement protective and preventative measures against this virus.
While there is still great uncertainty about COVID-19, at the present time, our best defense is practicing universal infection control measures, such as routine handwashing. The CDC says hand washing is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.1 Unfortunately, many individuals underestimate the value of routine handwashing.
Results from 1 study explored hand washing practices of individuals in public restrooms. The study population included an estimated 3749 individuals. The researchers found that only 5% of individuals in the study washed their hands long enough to eradicate germs from their hands after using the restroom. The CDC recommends at least 20 seconds of vigorous hand washing with soap and water. According to the study, the majority of individuals in the study only washed their hands for 6 seconds.2
Crucial findings from the study revealed the following:2
Other studies have revealed comparable findings. For example, the CDC states that only 31% of men and 65% of women wash their hands after using the restroom. 3
While we cannot control the actions of others, such as price gouging, and the hoarding of food and essential household supplies, here’s what we can control and implement into our daily routines:
Hopefully, as the health experts learn more about this novel virus, we will be able to decrease the number of cases. In the meantime, the best thing we can all do is to work together. This is a time of great uncertainty for all of us. While some news reports focus on the negative, there are positive stories out there.
With faith, common sense and patience, we will prevail. Remember the wise childhood advice from my dear mom and moms everywhere: Wash Your Hands! Wash Your Hands! Wash Your Hands!
A version of this article was originally published by A Pharmacist’s Perspective. It was reprinted with permission.