Washing Your Hands Correctly? Doctors Explain What Helps to Prevent Coronavirus
With the Coronavirus outbreak spreading around the world, many of us are concerned with how to defend ourselves against this illness, particularly if we're traveling. Fortunately, doctors say that one of the best defenses against getting sick is much simpler than you think: just wash your hands.
"Good hand hygiene is critical because the main mode of transmission of most germs (including viruses) is hand to mouth, eye, or nose contact. Studies have shown that we touch our faces over 20 times per hour. That's a lot of exposure."
"Next to getting a vaccine, which doesn't yet exist for the coronavirus, hand washing is the most important way to avoid contracting a respiratory virus like coronavirus or influenza," . "Good hand hygiene is critical because the main mode of transmission of most germs (including viruses) is hand to mouth, eye, or nose contact. Studies have shown that we touch our faces over 20 times per hour. That's a lot of exposure."
So, how should you wash your hands to prevent spreading or contracting coronavirus? The same way you always would: frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water. Keep reading for some best practices.
How Often Should You Wash Your Hands?
Dare we say, all the time? Ashish Sharma, MD, a board-certified internal medicine physician shared a list of scenarios in which you should wash your hands. (But when in doubt, do it!)
Each time you blow your nose
Each time you sneeze into your elbow or hand
Before touching your hand to your face
Before and after cooking food
Before and after eating food
Each time you come within six feet of a sick person
Before and after administering care to someone who's sick
After touching or feeding an animal
After cleaning or coming in contact with animal waste (cat litter, etc.)
After touching waste or garbage
After changing a baby's diaper
After using the toilet
Some of these should seem intuitive, but it's a good reminder of just how often — particularly during a cold-and-flu-and-coronavirus season — to be washing those hands of yours.