More than ever, washing hands regularly with soap and water is the simplest step to better health that one can take, especially because many disease-causing microbes can be transferred by touch. Given that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, health experts constantly advise the public that washing hands can actually have a more profound impact than vaccination shots.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that bacteria and viruses can thrive on open surfaces for at least two hours up to a few days. These infectious agents can easily adhere to palms and fingers, and cause ailments such as colds, flu, diarrhea, and many others.
What is the correct way to wash your hands? Health experts estimate that 20 seconds of hand washing is more than enough time. They encourage timing the process by singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
No water? No problem.
Tests conducted by the World Health Organization have shown that hand washing reduces incidents of diarrhea by nearly half. If you have no access to a faucet and sink, hand sanitizers are just as effective provided they contain at least 60% alcohol.