It has been stated by the CDC that cold and flu season begins in October and usually ends in May. As we enter into the winter months, we become even more susceptible to catching the common cold or even worse the FLU. The flu vaccine is a great way to defend against many strands of the flu, but there is also a well forgotten in home remedy that you can perform daily to keep cold and flu germs away. Hand Washing!
Have you ever thought about why our parents forced us to wash our hands a million times as kids, just so we could eat dinner? Our hands wouldn’t even be visibly dirty yet there would be several arguments over washing our hands before coming inside. Typically, the common reason was to wash off the dirt before eating, or to get rid of germs before coming down with a cold. However, going without hand washing for extended periods of time can have more serious consequences than one might imagine. Here are some “fun facts” about hand washing:
- 80% of all infectious diseases are transmitted through touch.
- Soap may not kill all the bacteria, but it can bring down the virus amounts.
- Only 67% of Americans regularly wash their hands after using a public toilet.
- Only 10% of doctors wash their hands between seeing patients.
- The most germy places on the human body are the scalp, armpits, and hands.
- People should wash their hands for at least 15 seconds, or sing Yankee Doodle.
- Hot water has actually not been proven to kill more bacteria.
- Cold water will actually not damage your skin as much with repeated washes.
Through all these fun facts, we cannot forget the man who began to save thousands of lives through the simple idea of washing hands to kill thousands of germs. And this man is Ignaz Semmelweis. Probably the coolest name I’ve ever heard and one of the most underrated people in history. So the next time you save yourself from a disease by washing your hands, remember to thank Semmelweis.
Andrew Jones & Morgan Miller
Health Science, Pre-Physician Assistant
Leadership Allied Health