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As flu season approaches, the Southern Nevada Health District is reminding everyone that in addition to getting a flu shot, keeping your hands clean is an important step you can take to stay healthy and stop the spread of germs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), handwashing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16 percent. In a study on the effects of alcohol-based hand sanitizer use in elementary schools, there was an overall reduction in absenteeism due to infection by 19.8 percent among 16 elementary schools and 6,000 students.
In order to be most effective there are appropriate techniques for handwashing and the use of hand sanitizers:
“Clean hands are not a trivial matter,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District. “Not only does proper handwashing help to prevent the flu and other respiratory infections, it can also reduce illness and even death associated with other illnesses.”
According to the CDC, 1.8 million children under the age of 5 are killed every year by diarrheal diseases and pneumonia. These two types of illness are the leading killers of children around the world. Appropriate handwashing can prevent one out of every three diarrheal illness and one out of five respiratory infections in young children – making many of the deaths preventable with soap and water.
More information and handwashing resources are available on the Health District website at: southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/health-topics/hand-washing.php.
The Health District is available in Spanish on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TuSNHD. Don’t have a Twitter account? Follow the Health District on your phone by texting “follow SNHDinfo” to 40404. Additional information and data can be accessed through the Healthy Southern Nevada website: www.HealthySouthernNevada.org.
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