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What is the best method of hand washing to prevent infection?

ANSWER

Washing your hands is one of the easiest things you can do to stop germs in their tracks. Follow these steps:

Don't have soap and water? Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold).
  • Use soap. Rub your hands together for 20 seconds - about as long as it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice.
  • Rinse.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel or let them air dry.

SOURCES:

CDC: “How Flu Spreads.”

Delaware Health and Social Services: “Direct and Indirect Disease Transmission.”

Government of South Australia: “Ways Infectious Diseases Spread.”

CDC: “Adult Vaccination.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule, by Vaccine and Age Group.”

CDC: “Immunization Schedules.”

CDC: “Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives.”

Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital: “Don’t Let Cold and Flu Get You Down: Tips for Preventing the Spread of Germs.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on October 29, 2017

SOURCES:

CDC: “How Flu Spreads.”

Delaware Health and Social Services: “Direct and Indirect Disease Transmission.”

Government of South Australia: “Ways Infectious Diseases Spread.”

CDC: “Adult Vaccination.”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule, by Vaccine and Age Group.”

CDC: “Immunization Schedules.”

CDC: “Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives.”

Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital: “Don’t Let Cold and Flu Get You Down: Tips for Preventing the Spread of Germs.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on October 29, 2017

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How often should you wash your hands?

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