The Importance of Handwashing

Posted at 11:17 AM on Dec 17, 2019

It is everywhere...sniffles, coughing, sneezing, wheezing...flu season has arrived and once it is here it seems to spread like wildfire! According to the CDC, “Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs”, which as we know germs cause us to become ill, therefore, handwashing is the single most important action to take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of germs.

The Importance of Handwashing

The Importance of Handwashing - How Dirty Hands Make You Sick

Feces (poop) from people or animals is a common source of germs like Salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus that cause diarrhea, and it can spread some respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease.

These kinds of germs can get onto hands after people use the bathroom, change a diaper, or handle raw meats that have invisible amounts of animal poop on them. A single gram of human feces—which is about the weight of a paper clip—can contain one trillion germs.

Germs can also get onto hands if people touch any object that has germs on it because someone coughed or sneezed on it or was touched by some other contaminated object. When these germs get onto hands and are not washed off, they can be passed from person to person and make people sick. Think about every time you touch anything in public and then touch your face, nose, and/or mouth, you are transmitting any germs that were on that object directly into your body.

When in Doubt Wash Your Hands

Now that you have a thorough understanding of how dirty hands can cause illness, it is clear that handwashing is incredibly important! You can learn more about the basics of handwashing by visiting our article, “5 Simple Steps of Basic Handwashing” to read more on how to properly wash your hands. Remember, when in doubt wash your hands!