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2017-18 Flu Season Recap: Wash Your Hands

May 23, 2018

Handwashing

The Centers for Disease Control reports that the 2017–18 flu season had the highest rate of flu-related hospitalizations on record since this type of surveillance began. The FluView report includes preliminary cumulative rates as of May 12, 2018. According to the Health and Human Services department, annual hospitalizations from influenza have ranged from 140,000 to 710,000 since 2010 and there is an average of 24,000 deaths per year.

As the peak of flu season ends, it’s important to remember one of the best defenses for stopping the spread of germs: hand hygiene.

Handwashing

With 80% of germs transmitted by hand-to-hand contact, keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. This flu season the highest rate of infection was among older adults aged 65 years and older, followed by adults between the ages of 50-65. As the baby-boomer population ages and requires more care, the impact of hand hygiene in nursing homes is extremely important for infection control, and it starts with following the model for proper hand hygiene.

The Science behind Handwashing

The Centers for Disease Control recommends a six step process for washing hands. It only takes 20 seconds and is one of the best proactive methods to disinfecting your hands to stop the spread of germs.

  • 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 clean all surfaces on your hands (backs of your hands, between your fingers, under your nails, etc).
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

This model for proper hand washing has been proven to remove the tiny microbes, germs and bacteria that may inhabit your hands throughout the day. By staying compliant with this model for hand hygiene, you can protect yourself and others from the spread of germs.

Want to increase hand hygiene compliance in your workplace? Implement the Compass Program from Betco®. Compass is the only program that guides users to proper hand hygiene as recommended by the CDC. Click here to learn more.

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