F.A.Q

Why is handwashing so important in preventing infections?

Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because: People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it. Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick. Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands. – cdc.gov

What is meant by the “T-Zone” in medical terms?

The T-zone — eyes, nose and mouth — is the main portal of entry for viral infections such as influenza, colds and pneumonia, as well as bacterial infections including strep

throat, tuberculosis or tonsillitis. – ucihealth.org

Face touching: a frequent habit that has implications for hand hygiene

Results: On average, each of the 26 observed medical students touched their face 23 times per hour. Of all face touches, 44% (1,024/2,346) involved contact with a mucous membrane, whereas 56% (1,322/2,346) of contacts involved nonmucosal areas. Of mucous membrane touches observed, 36% (372) involved the mouth, 31% (318) involved the nose, 27% (273) involved the eyes, and 6% (61) were a combination of these regions. – National Center for Biotechnology Information

Can you get infected with Pneumococcus (Pneumonia) by picking your nose?

Pneumonia-causing bacteria can be spread through picking and rubbing the nose, according to new research. This study is the first to show that transmission can occur via contact between the nose and the hands after exposure to pneumococcus bacteria.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181011103625.htm

Can handling raw foods while preparing meals be dangerous if you’re not careful?

Foodborne illness-causing bacteria can remain on surfaces for a very long time. Campylobacter can survive in your kitchen for up to 4 hours and Salmonella can last for up to 32 hours. Norovirus, often called the stomach flu or a stomach bug, is the most common foodborne illness-causing germ in the United States. Norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. It can spread easily if you eat or drink contaminated food or touch contaminated surfaces or objects then put your unwashed hands in your mouth.
 
https://www.fsis.usda.gov/

Does teaching people about handwashing help them and their communities stay healthy?
  • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40% 236
  • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%  4
  • Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21% 35
  • Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57% 7cdc.org
What are some common infectious disease spread through fomites (surfaces) or self-inoculations?
  • Adenovirus – a group of viruses causing upper respiratory tract and eye infections
  • Coronavirus – a common virus that causes upper respiratory infections in both animals and humans
  • Hand foot amd mouth disease – a common infection leading to fever and blisters on the hands, feet, and inside the mouth
  • Influenza – an acute viral infection of the upper or lower respiratory tract
  • Norovirus – the most common cause of gastroenteritis
  • Rhinovirus – the most common viral infectious agent in humans
  • Rotavirus – the most common cause 0f diarrheal disease in infants and children.
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1828811/
What are fomite transmissions of infectious pathogens?
Preventing Conjunctivitus and other eye infections…

Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. This can worsen the condition or spread it to your other eye.. – https://www.cdc.gov/conjunctivitis/about/prevention.html

What is coronavirus?

Corona viruses are an extremely common cause of colds and other upper respiratory infections. – Harvard Medical School

What is a novel coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. – cdc.gov

There is still a lot that is unknown about COVID-19 and how it spreads…

Coronaviruses are thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Although the virus can survive for a short period on some surfaces, it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products or packaging. However, it may be possible that people can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.cdc.gov

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