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World Hand Hygiene Day is May 5

Fri May 4, 2018


DUPAGE COUNTY-The DuPage County Health Department is joining public health organizations throughout the world to raise awareness of the importance of hand hygiene. Saturday, May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day, an international observance to remind people about the importance of hand washing.

In spite of the great advances in health care and disease management, the simple, yet important act of handwashing remains one of the most critical weapons in avoiding the spread of diseases.

The "SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands" campaign brings people together in support of hand hygiene improvement globally and to progress the goal of maintaining a global profile on hand hygiene in health care. Patients and their loved ones can play a role in asking and reminding healthcare providers to clean their hands. Your hands can spread germs too, so protect yourself by cleaning your hands often.

The health department reminds residents that there is a correct way to wash your hands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it involves five simple and effective steps: "Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry." Wet your hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. How long is that? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

If running water is not available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. For more information visit:

It is important to wash your hands when preparing food, before you eat, after using the rest room, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and after touching garbage. Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself, your family, and others from getting sick.


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