Maple Knoll Village


Health Tips from your Maple Knoll Home Health Nurse

Do you know the most important way to prevent the spread of infectious illnesses? Did you know that 80% of all infectious disease are transmitted by touching? What is a easy way that you can keep yourself healthy this flu and cold season? The answer to that simple question is to wash your hands.

Do you remember your mother telling you to wash your hands as a child? Well it turns out our mothers did know best. Exposure to flu can occur by touching a surface that has the flu virus on it. If the individual then touches their mouth, eyes, or nose they can become infected. The flu virus can survive between two and eight hours on surfaces. For example, if you touch an elevator button that has is contaminated with the flu virus and subsequently rub your eye, it’s possible to become infected with the flu.

The CDC recommends a five step process for hand washing. First wet your hands with clean running water. Next, lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap. You don’t want to miss those all important areas of the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your fingernails. Third, scrub for a minimum of twenty seconds. Hum the Happy Birthday song twice from beginning to end for twenty seconds of hand washing. Next, rinse your hands well again under clean running water. Finally, dry your hands using a clean towel. A paper towel is best. A moist cloth hand towel can be a good place for germs to flourish. If you use a cloth hand towel, wash the towel in hot water frequently.

If soap and water are not readily available an alcohol-based sanitizer can be substituted. It is recommended that the sanitizer contain at least 60% alcohol. Don’t use the sanitizer if your hands are visibly soiled as they are not effective. However, simple hand washing is the best way to reduce the percentage of germs and microbes on your hands. If you use bar soap, make sure it is in a holder that is self-draining. Bar soap that sits in a moist environment can cause germs to thrive. Clean the soap holder before you put out a new bar of soap.
Happy Hand Washing. Hope these tips help to keep you happy and healthy this flu and cold season!!

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