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Health Division Raising Awareness On Hand Washing

Public Date: 12/6/2012 12:00 AM
Contact: Kathy Forzley, Health Officer/Manager of the Oakland County Health Division
Phone Number: 248-858-1410

Handwashing Fact Sheet
Handwashing Fact Sheet in Spanish

Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Health Division says hand washing is among the most important measures an individual can take to prevent the spread of illnesses such as the common cold, influenza or infectious diarrhea. This reminder comes in the midst of National Hand Washing Awareness Week which runs through Saturday.

The Health Division recommends one to wash his or her hands often in warm, soapy water to loosen and remove germs that can make one sick.

"Your hands come in contact with many different surfaces throughout the day. If you do not wash your hands frequently, you can infect yourself with accumulated germs when you touch your eyes, nose or mouth," said Dr. Pamela Hackert, the Health Division's chief of medical services. "In addition, other people can also become infected if you touch them or shared surfaces with your unwashed hands."

If soap and running water are unavailable, one may use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. While sanitizers reduce the number of germs on hands, they do not eliminate all organisms that cause illnesses. For instance, hand sanitizers will not protect against Norovirus, also known as the stomach flu.

Proper hand washing is the best way to prevent illness. This simple habit can play an important role in protecting family health. For more information on hand washing techniques and when one should wash his or her hands, navigate to OakGov.com/Health, click on "Information & Publications," choose "Fact Sheets," and go to "Handwashing."

For media inquiries only, contact Kathy Forzley, health officer/manager of the Oakland County Health Division at 248-858-1410.