Germs that cause respiratory infections such as COVID-19 enter the body through three porous areas — the eyes, nose, and mouth.
According to the American Medical Association, studies show that people touch their face near the eyes, nose and mouth more than 15 times an hour which could amount to up to 230 times a day.
COVID-19 has underscored the importance of handwashing. However, in addition to COVID-19, illnesses such as flu, adeno virus, RSV, common cold, conjunctivitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, Coxsackie virus, Streptococcus Pneumococcus and more enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth.
National Handwashing Awareness Week is Dec. 5 to 11 and is the perfect time to take the power to stop the spread of germs into your own hands.
“Always be sure to cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hands,” said Infectious Disease specialist Angela Oates, MD. “Practicing the four principals of handwashing behaviors can ensure that you stay well.”
Follow these guidelines to stop the spread of illnesses:
- Wash hands when they are dirty and before eating
- Do not cough into hands
- Do not sneeze into hands
- Do not put fingers into the eyes, nose or mouth