Scary Consequences Of Not Washing Your Hands.
💀 Many foodborne disease outbreaks are spread by contaminated hands.
💀 Roughly 80% of illness-causing germs are spread by your hands.
💀 Germs can survive for up to 3 hours on your hands and a single germ can multiply into more than 8 million of them in 24 hours.
💀 There are between 2 to 10 million bacteria on your fingertips and elbows. And the number of germs on your fingertips doubles after you use the toilet.
💀 If you don’t wash your hands you transfer these germs to the food and drink you consume. 🤮
💀 Oh, you’ll love this fact. There are more germs on your phone and keyboard than on your toilet seat.
When did we know that dirty hands kill?
Around 1846, a Hungarian doctor, Ignaz Semmelweis, noticed that women giving birth in the student/doctor maternity ward in his hospital were more likely to develop a fever and die compared to the women giving birth in the midwife-run maternity ward.
He also noticed that the doctors and medical students often visited the maternity ward, immediately after performing post-mortems. So in other words, those doctors transferred diseases from corpses to pregnant women via their hands.
This observation caused him to make these doctors wash their hands with chlorine and lo and behold, the rates of death in the doctor maternity ward dropped dramatically.
One very famous supporter of handwashing, Florence Nightingale, implemented handwashing and other hygiene practices in the war hospital where she worked.
However, handwashing didn’t really catch on until scientists hypothesise the idea that certain diseases and infections are caused by microorganisms we can’t even see. British surgeon Joseph Lister also reduced patient mortality by championing the practice of surgeons washing their hands and sterilizing their instruments in between procedures.
But still, in the subsequent years, handwashing practices were very much hit-and-miss. It was only around the 1980s before the healthcare profession finally, implemented strict hygiene practices around the world. Phew!
Washing your hands could:-
Help to reduce deaths from diarrheal diseases up to 50%.
Reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses like colds in the general population by 16-21%.
Stop nearly 1 million people dying from bacteria/virus-riddled hands!
When you need to wash your hands.
👍 After visiting the toilet.
👍 Before handling food.
👍 When your hands are visibly dirty.
👍 After coughing or sneezing into your hands and after blowing your nose.
👍 After touching animals.
👍 After cleaning up body fluids.
👍 Before and after you visit a sick person in hospital.
👍 Before and after touching wounds.
How to wash your hands.
The whole process should take around 20 seconds.
1. Wet your hands with water.
2. Apply enough soap to cover your hands.
3. Rub your hands together.
4. Use one hand to rub the back of your other hand and clean between your fingers. Repeat with your other hand.
5. Rub your hands together and clean in between fingers.
6. Rub the back of your fingers against your palms.
7. Rub one of your thumbs using your other hand and then do the same with your other thumb.
8. Rub the tips of your fingers in the palm of your other hand. Do the same with your other fingertips with the other palm of your hand. (Don’t forget to wash your wrists.)
9. Rinse your hands with water.
10. Dry your hands completely. (Your hands spread 1,000 times more germs damp than dry.)
Check out this video showing the above steps.
I’m genuinely appalled that potentially 1 million people die each year just because some of us are too lazy to wash our hands properly.
It incenses me to see people in public toilets sticking their hands under the tap for about 2 seconds; or worse still, just walking out without even bothering to do that!
No wonder viruses and bacteria spread so easily! Including COVID.
Years ago, when I was a student nurse, my colleagues and I were invited to place our hands under ultraviolet light. This highlighted the bacteria that were on our hands. It was an eye-opener and frankly disgusting.🤮
So, wash your hands properly. There’s no excuse.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments box.
Thank you for reading.
Sources: cdc.gov, globalhandwashing.org, tchc.org, who.int, nidirect.gov.uk, healthdirect.gov.au, healthline.com, webmd.com, history.com