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Science Reveals The Importance Of Hand Hygiene

Science Reveals The Importance Of Hand Hygiene

It’s public knowledge of how experts stress the need for hand hygiene to curb the spread of Covid-19. Although viewed as a mundane task, hand hygiene is a vital weapon in combating the disease-causing virus. 

However, although it’s one of the most effective prevention practices, some still undermine its effectiveness while others view its benefits as mere myths. 

Is hand hygiene scientifically proven to prevent the spread of viruses and illnesses, or is it just a futile practice anyone can forego?

Why Is Hand Hygiene Important?

What people once view as harmless habits can now pose alarming dangers. Before the emergence of Covid-19, we already have a level of understanding about germ activity. However, the intensity of this understanding surged significantly higher as the world faced the pandemic. 

Hand hygiene is important because:

  •         People habitually touch their mouth, nose, and eyes, many times unknowingly. These are the virus entry points making hand-to-face virus transfer very high.
  •         Unwashed hands can cause the spread of germs to food more not just consumed by you but the people you’re with.
  •         Unwashed hands can carry germs then transfer it to contact points like tabletops, handrails, doorknobs, even children’s toys.
  •         Killing germs accumulated on the hands help prevent skin, eye, digestive, and respiratory infections. 
  •         It reduces respiratory illness by up to 21%

As Duke University’s infectious disease researcher, Sallie Permar puts it, hand hygiene is an essential way to interrupt virus transmissions. 

A study on “Face Touching: A Frequent Habit That Has Implications For Hand Hygiene”  observed face-touching as a potential element in the transmission of common respiratory infections. 

The results revealed the respondents touched their faces at least 23 times every hour. This study concluded hand hygiene as an economical and vital method in breaking the virus transmission cycle. 

How Are Viruses Destroyed?

Technically, viruses are not alive. Unlike other microbes, viruses need to invade a host to reproduce. 

Without a host to hijack, viruses will not thrive and cause illnesses. 

The problem is, viruses are robust enough that they can stay active for days, even weeks at a time outside the host. This characteristic makes it easy for the virus to spread unnoticed. 

44% of virus transmissions from hand to face, happens on the 3 entry points: mouth, nose, and eyes. Chidiebere Akusobi, Harvard’s School of Public Health’s infectious disease researcher says breaking the transmission through frequent hand hygiene can help halt the virus’ spread. 

virus-transmission-points-to-face-percentage

The Science Behind Hand Hygiene

A study entitled: Hand-washing And Risk Of Respiratory Infections: A Quantitative Systematic Review reveals hand hygiene lowers the risk of respiratory infections by up to 44%, inferring that cleaning hands cut the dangers of respiratory infection by a significant number. 

It concludes handwashing is highly connected to lowering respiratory infection. 

A virologist from the University Of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine echoes the sentiments of the earlier mentioned researchers about hand hygiene as an indispensable virus transmission prevention.  

Benhur Lee, a microbiologist from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai says alcohol-based hand sanitizers can pierce deep into a pathogen creating chaos for the virus’ proteins. 

As long as the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol, it is deemed to be effective in wreaking havoc against the virus. 

Hand Hygiene: Science Or Myth? 

Observational studies show several risk factors related to a passive attitude on hand hygiene. And since Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis's experimental study in 1847, hand hygiene has been accepted to be the easiest and most cost-effective way to prevent cross-transmissions and contaminations. 

These scientific findings led to positioning hand hygiene as a priority practice with infection control practitioners. Further studies on hand contamination and cross-transmission as an effect of non-compliance strengthen the scientific recommendation for a constant hand hygiene practice. 

The Purpose Of Hand Hygiene

The goal of hand hygiene is to limit the hand colonization of viruses. Although having a short-term survival rate on the surfaces like the skin, still it carries a high-pathogenic potential and is accountable for acquired infections from surface cross-transmissions. 

The use of hand sanitizers is seen as providing:

  1. Ideal microbial protection against viruses, bacteria, fungi, and yeast
  1. Easy usage without the need for various equipment like sinks, soaps, basins, etc.  
  1. Application doesn’t cause cross-contamination especially when non-contact hand sanitizers are used.
  1. Fast-acting protection especially in fast-paced situations in a workplace setting. 

Over time, studies consistently report the crucial relationship between constant hand hygiene to the reduction of contamination and infection rates. 

In the fight against an invisible foe, a perceptible measure in the form of hand hygiene can significantly counter its spread. 

It’s all too clear to see that an increase in hand hygiene practice results in a decrease in the diffusion of Covid-19. Although considered a commonplace, it’s a contribution to the community’s safety is imperative. 

Whether in the office, airports, hotels, churches, spas, salons, and every public place with a steady flow of human traffic, this commonplace practice does a great deal in downsizing the spread of the virus. 

Science already proves how a simple practice can have a huge impact not just on keeping people safe but also in keeping their peace of mind. 

It takes just a few seconds to curb the spread of Covid-19 especially with a touch-free hand sanitizer dispenser readily available in high-traffic areas. 

The demand for this sanitizing equipment boomed within the last year with a market size valued at $74 million. 

The high market demand is yet again another significant proof aside from the scientific basis laid out earlier that hand hygiene is a highly effective practice for protections against Covid-19. 

Joint Stars contributes to curbing the spread of the virus by providing affordable and long-lasting touch-free hand sanitizer dispensers especially designed for high-traffic places. 

Securing one for your business is a key protection measure not just for your employees but also for your clients’ safety and peace of mind. 

The presence of a touch-free hand sanitizer dispenser in your business is burning proof of being in one with the crusade of helping make the world a safer place to live in again. 

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