2-8, 2012 has been proclaimed National Handwashing Week.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
"Handwashing is the single most important means to prevent the spread of
infection." The CDC estimates that 36,000 die from the flu or flu-like
illness each year, 5,000 people die from food borne illness each year, and
approximately 78,000 patients die each year from Hospital Acquired
Infections, for which a direct link to many of these deaths is poor
RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall, Health Department Public Information Director
states, "What people need to remember, especially during the cold and flu
season, is that simple and consistent handwashing promotion and awareness is
important for infection prevention, food safety, school health, personal
health and disease prevention."
"To put this in greater perspective, " adds Tucker, "one should consider
that fact that in the average year as many as 164,000,000 days are lost from
school due to illness, of which 22,000,000 are due to the common cold
The Health Department staff notes that there are many critical times to
wash your hands. A few examples are before eating, after the toilet, during
food preparation, after handling animals, upon arriving home, after changing
diapers, leaving the hospital or physician's office and any time you think
your hands are dirty. Use soap, running water, and scrub all surfaces of
your hands for 20 seconds and dry with a paper towel. If a sink and soap
are not available, use a alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
For more information on good hygiene and infection control or to
schedule a program, call the Health Department at (309) 852-0197 (Henry) or
(309) 852-3115 (Stark) or visit our website at www.henrystarkhealth.com or
find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments.