Handwashing

Do you know the facts?

Most readers will recently have had a "cold". A "cold" is just a collection of symptoms caused by any one of several hundred viruses. Many colds are caused by rhino viruses. There are more than one hundred different viruses which are passed from person to person by nasal secretions on a person's hands. Prevention involves handwashing.

  • Click here to open a printable image illustrating the proper handwashing steps.

For hundreds of years, evidence has linked handwashing to preventing the spread of disease. Nevertheless, research shows that sixty percent of the population does not wash their hands or wash their hands incorrectly.

Numerous studies have confirmed that a variety of bacteria and viruses can be transmitted by hands. It also has been clearly shown that handwashing can prevent diarrheal and respiratory diseases. A recent study done in Michigan states, "Children who wash their hands four or more times during the school day get sick less than other kids." The hand washers had 24% fewer sick days due to colds and flu, and fifty percent fewer days lost because of stomach illness*.

These studies, in children and adults, have clearly shown that handwashing is still one of the best ways to prevent the spread of colds and other infections.

Share the News... Spread Protection, Not Infections

* University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter - March 1997

Other links to handwashing information:

Last updated: February 17, 2011