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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Science of Washing Hands, Small Actions But Deep Impact: An Analysis

As doctors say contaminated hands can cause many infectious diseases from one person to another, washing hands is the most effective way to prevent the infection from spreading when it comes to preventing viral infections, especially sending coughs and properly spreading through droplets.

Washing hands is always the first line remedy recently, the opinion given by doctors to reduce the outbreak of coronavirus, states that more hands should be washed properly.

New research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge aims to address the doubts that indicate how important a hand can be in slowing the spread of infectious diseases.

The Centres for Disease Control Prevention(CDC) Trusted Source says that it is very important for us to use soap to wash hands and we scrub it for at least 20 seconds by applying soap in our hands.

Because we don’t have any visible germs in our hands, we need to scrub our hands. Contaminated hands easily operate these germs, as stated by WHO(2006) hands should be washed before and after any patient comes around.

How germs get into the hands and make people sick

Human / Animal feces are an important source of bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus that cause diarrhea, and can spread certain respiratory infections such as adenovirus and foot infections.

These germs can get into the hands after people use the toilet or change nappies, but also in subtle ways, such as after handling raw meat with invisible amounts of animal embryos.

One gram of human excrement – about the size of a piece of paper – can contain as much as 100 billion germs. Germs can also get into the hands when people come in contact with anything contaminated because someone coughs or sneezes or is touched by something dirty.

When these germs get into the hands and are not cleaned, they can be transmitted to another person and make people sick.

Hand washing prevents illness and spreading of disease to others

Washing the hands with soap and water removes germs from the hands. This helps prevent disease because:

  • People often touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without realizing it. Bacteria can enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
  • Bacteria in unwashed hands can get into food and drink while people are preparing or eating. Bacteria can replicate in other foods or beverages and, under certain conditions, make people sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transmitted to other objects, such as handles, table tops, or toys, and then to another person’s hands.
  • Removing germs by washing your hands therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and can also help prevent skin and eye infections.

Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities to stay healthy. Public handwashing education:

  • Reduce the number of people suffering from diarrhea by 23-40% 
  • Reduce diarrhea in people with weakened immune systems by 58%
  • Reduce respiratory infections, such as colds, in the general population by 16-21% 
  • Reduce absenteeism due to intestinal infections in school children by 29-57%

Not washing hands harms children all over the world

About 1.8 million children under the age of five die each year from diarrhea and pneumonia, which are the top two killers of young children
land 8.

  • Washing the hands with soap and water can prevent at least one third of children suffering from diarrhea 2, 3 and about 1 in 5 children with respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia 3, 5.
  • Although people all over the world wash their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing hands with soap effectively removes germs 9.
  • Handicrafts and soap in schools can help improve attendance at 10, 11, 12.
  • Washing hands thoroughly at an early age can help improve a child’s development in some settings 13.
  • It is estimated that the cost of hand washing after using the toilet is only 19%.
  • Washing the hands helps to combat the increase in antibiotic resistance

Preventing illness reduces the number of antibiotics people use and the chance that antibiotic resistance will increase. Handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrheal diseases and 20% of respiratory infections (eg, flu) 2, 5.

Antibiotics are often unnecessarily prescribed for these health problems 14.

Reducing the number of these diseases with regular handwashing helps prevent overuse. of antibiotics – one of the most important factors leading to global resistance to germs.

Washing your hands can prevent people from getting infected with germs that are already resistant to antibiotics and can be difficult to treat.


Hand washing is considered a very important step to control the infection of the epidemic and it is recommended to wash hands.

  • After using the bathroom.
  • After sneezing in your hands.
  • After handling your household garbage.
  • While caring for sick people.
  • Before or after the preparation of any medicine.
  • Before touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or face.
  • After touching the poultry, fish, or raw meat.
  • Hands should be washed after meals and before meals.

In addition to the above-listed circumstances during this pandemic, if someone uses hand sanitizer with them, it would be very effective.

because just washing hands with water has no effective effect but if we use soap or any other hand sanitizer, then we can remove germs of our hands which we do not see with naked eyes.

Which Water is right to use for Washing Hands?

Using flowing water instead of a basin of standing water may be contaminated through the use of washing hands with warm water may be better than cold water.

Although cold water and soap are still suitable continuous use of hot water damages the skin’s natural oils, which can further cause inflammation.

water should not be above 110 F to wash hands due to this temperature, losing the delicate skin tissues will damage the hands. This can cause bacteria to crop up and make it more difficult to remove.

Which Soaps to use?

By not using empty water, we can remove germs that are not visible in our hands to a great extent by using soap. Because inside the soap some chemicals help remove germs nowadays people prefer to use liquid soap, especially at work.

However, bar soap is better than no soap. Antibacterial soap is unnecessary and does not provide an advantage over regular soaps, Almost all soaps are equally effective in eliminating the germ-born disease.


One major way to reduce the incidence of infection is to think about frequent hand washing, not optional but in a regular form.

Because washing hands is an important factor in removing or reducing the number of microorganisms from the hands. In this Pandemic, the first responsibility should be to wash the hands of human beings, because by washing hands, we can protect ourselves and others.

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