Hand washing with soap on a kitchen sink
|Synonyms||Handwashing, hand hygiene|
Hand washing (or handwashing), also known as hand hygiene, is the act of cleaning hands for the purpose of removing soil, dirt, and microorganisms. If water and soap is not available, hands can be cleaned with ash instead.
A microorganism, or microbe, is a microscopic organism, which may exist in its single-celled form or in a colony of cells.
Ash or ashes are the solid remains of fires. Specifically, it refers to all non-aqueous, non-gaseous residues that remain after something is burned. In analytical chemistry, in order to analyse the mineral and metal content of chemical samples, ash is the non-gaseous, non-liquid residue after a complete combustion.
Medical hand hygiene refers to hygiene practices related to medical procedures. Hand washing before administering medicine or medical care can prevent or minimize the spread of disease. The main medical purpose of washing hands is to cleanse the hands of pathogens (like bacteria or viruses) and chemicals which can cause harm or disease. This is especially important for people who handle food or work in the medical field, but also important practice for the general public.
Hygiene is a set of practices performed to preserve health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases." Personal hygiene refers to maintaining the body's cleanliness.
In biology, a pathogen is also known as an infectious agent, or a germ. In the oldest and broadest sense, a pathogen is anything that can produce disease; the term came into use in the 1880s. Typically the term pathogen is used to describe an infectious microorganism or agent, such as a virus, bacterium, protozoan, prion, viroid, or fungus. Small animals, such as certain kinds of worms and insect larvae, can also produce disease but such animals are usually, in common parlance, referred to as parasites rather than pathogens. The scientific study of microscopic, pathogenic organisms is called microbiology, while the study of disease that may include these pathogens is called pathology. Parasitology, meanwhile, is the scientific study of parasites and the organisms that host them.
Bacteria are a type of biological cell. They constitute a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a number of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals. Bacteria were among the first life forms to appear on Earth, and are present in most of its habitats. Bacteria inhabit soil, water, acidic hot springs, radioactive waste, and the deep portions of Earth's crust. Bacteria also live in symbiotic and parasitic relationships with plants and animals. Most bacteria have not been characterised, and only about half of the bacterial phyla have species that can be grown in the laboratory. The study of bacteria is known as bacteriology, a branch of microbiology.
Hand washing with soap consistently at critical moments during the day prevents the spread of diseases like diarrhoea and cholera which are transmitted through fecal-oral routes. People can become infected with respiratory diseases such as influenza or the common cold, for example, if they do not wash their hands before touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.
Diarrhea is the condition of having at least three loose, liquid, or watery bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days and can result in dehydration due to fluid loss. Signs of dehydration often begin with loss of the normal stretchiness of the skin and irritable behaviour. This can progress to decreased urination, loss of skin color, a fast heart rate, and a decrease in responsiveness as it becomes more severe. Loose but non-watery stools in babies who are exclusively breastfed, however, are normal.
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe. The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days. Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur. Diarrhea can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. This may result in sunken eyes, cold skin, decreased skin elasticity, and wrinkling of the hands and feet. Dehydration can cause the skin to turn bluish. Symptoms start two hours to five days after exposure.
The fecal–oral route describes a particular route of transmission of a disease where pathogens in fecal particles pass from one person to the mouth of another person. Main causes of fecal–oral disease transmission include lack of adequate sanitation, and poor hygiene practices. If soil or water bodies are polluted with fecal material, humans can be infected with waterborne diseases or soil-transmitted diseases. Fecal contamination of food is another form of fecal-oral transmission. Washing hands properly after changing a baby's diaper or after performing anal hygiene can prevent foodborne illness from spreading.
Hand washing has the following health benefits:
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms can be mild to severe. The most common symptoms include: high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, sneezing, and feeling tired. These symptoms typically begin two days after exposure to the virus and most last less than a week. The cough, however, may last for more than two weeks. In children, there may be diarrhea and vomiting, but these are not common in adults. Diarrhea and vomiting occur more commonly in gastroenteritis, which is an unrelated disease and sometimes inaccurately referred to as "stomach flu" or the "24-hour flu". Complications of influenza may include viral pneumonia, secondary bacterial pneumonia, sinus infections, and worsening of previous health problems such as asthma or heart failure.
Infant mortality is the death of young children under the age of 1. This death toll is measured by the infant mortality rate (IMR), which is the number of deaths of children under one year of age per 1000 live births. The under-five mortality rate is also an important statistic, considering the infant mortality rate focuses only on children under one year of age.
A home birth is an act of giving birth in one's own home. Prior to the advent of modern medicine, a residence or where the mother found shelter, rather than a hospital or dedicated birthing center, was the default type of birth location. Home births may be attended by a midwife, or lay attendant with experience in managing home births.
A 2013 study showed that improved hand washing practices may lead to small improvements in the length growth in children under five years of age
In developing countries, childhood mortality rates related to respiratory and diarrheal diseases can be reduced by introducing simple behavioral changes, such as hand washing with soap. This simple action can reduce the rate of mortality from these diseases by almost 50 percent.
Child mortality, also known as child death, refers to the death of children under the age of 14 and encompasses national mortality, under-5 mortality, and mortality of children aged 5–14. Many child deaths go unreported for a variety of reasons, including lack of death registration and lack of data on child migrants. Without accurate data on child deaths, we cannot fully discover and combat the greatest risks to a child's life.
Interventions that promote hand washing can reduce diarrhoea episodes by about a third, and this is comparable to providing clean water in low income areas.48% of reductions in diarrhoea episodes can be associated with hand washing with soap.
Hand washing with soap is the single most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrhea and acute respiratory infections (ARI), as automatic behavior performed in homes, schools, and communities worldwide. Pneumonia, a major ARI, is the number one cause of mortality among children under five years old, taking the life of an estimated 1.8 million children per year. Diarrhea and pneumonia together account for almost 3.5 million child deaths annually.According to UNICEF, turning hand washing with soap before eating and after using the toilet into an ingrained habit can save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter. Hand washing is usually integrated together with other sanitation interventions as part of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes.
Hand washing also protects against impetigo which is transmitted through direct physical contact.
A possible small detrimental effect of hand washing is that frequent hand washing can lead to skin damage due to drying of the skin.Excessive hand washing is commonly seen as a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
There are five critical times during the day where washing hands with soap is important to reduce fecal-oral transmission of disease: after defecation, after cleaning a child's bottom, before feeding a child, before eating and before preparing food or handling raw meat, fish, or poultry.
In many countries, there is a low prevalence of hand washing with soap. A study of hand washing in 54 countries in 2015 found that on average, 38.7% of households practiced hand washing with soap.Several Behaviour change methodologies now exist to increase uptake of the behaviour of hand washing with soap at the critical times.
Group hand washing for school children at set times of the day is one option in developing countries to engrain hand washing in children's behaviors.The "Essential Health Care Program" implemented by the Department of Education in the Philippines is an example of at scale action to promote children’s health and education. Deworming twice a year, supplemented with washing hands daily with soap, brushing teeth daily with fluoride, is at the core of this national program. It has also been successfully implemented in Indonesia.
As a general rule, hand washing protects people poorly or not at all from droplet and airborne diseases, such as measles, chickenpox, influenza, and tuberculosis.
Removal of microorganisms from skin is enhanced by the addition of soaps or detergents to water. [ citation needed ]The main action of soaps and detergents is to reduce barriers to solution, and increase solubility. Water is an inefficient skin cleanser because fats and proteins, which are components of organic soil, are not readily dissolved in water. Cleansing is, however, aided by a reasonable flow of water.
Solid soap, because of its reusable nature, may hold bacteria acquired from previous uses.A small number of studies which have looked at the bacterial transfer from contaminated solid soap have concluded transfer is unlikely as the bacteria are rinsed off with the foam. The CDC still states "liquid soap with hands-free controls for dispensing is preferable".
Antibacterial soaps have been heavily promoted to a health-conscious public. To date, there is no evidence that using recommended antiseptics or disinfectants selects for antibiotic-resistant organisms in nature.However, antibacterial soaps contain common antibacterial agents such as triclosan, which has an extensive list of resistant strains of organisms. So, even if antibiotic resistant strains aren't selected for by antibacterial soaps, they might not be as effective as they are marketed to be.
A comprehensive analysis from the University of Oregon School of Public Health indicated that plain soaps are as effective as consumer-grade anti-bacterial soaps containing triclosan in preventing illness and removing bacteria from the hands.
Hot water that is comfortable for washing hands is not hot enough to kill bacteria. Bacteria grow much faster at body temperature (37 C). However, warm, soapy water is more effective than cold, soapy water at removing natural oils which hold soils and bacteria. Contrary to popular belief however, scientific studies have shown that using warm water has no effect on reducing the microbial load on hands.
A hand sanitizer or hand antiseptic is a non-water-based hand hygiene agent. In the late 1990s and early part of the 21st century, alcohol rub non-water-based hand hygiene agents (also known as alcohol-based hand rubs, antiseptic hand rubs, or hand sanitizers) began to gain popularity. Most are based on isopropyl alcohol or ethanol formulated together with a thickening agent such as Carbomer into a gel, or a humectant such as glycerin into a liquid, or foam for ease of use and to decrease the drying effect of the alcohol.
Hand sanitizers containing a minimum of 60 to 95% alcohol are efficient germ killers. Alcohol rub sanitizers kill bacteria, multi-drug resistant bacteria (MRSA and VRE), tuberculosis, and some viruses (including HIV, herpes, RSV, rhinovirus, vaccinia, influenza,and hepatitis) and fungi. Alcohol rub sanitizers containing 70% alcohol kill 99.97% (3.5 log reduction, similar to 35 decibel reduction) of the bacteria on hands 30 seconds after application and 99.99% to 99.999% (4 to 5 log reduction) of the bacteria on hands 1 minute after application.
Hand sanitizers are most effective against bacteria and less effective against some viruses. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are almost entirely ineffective against norovirus or Norwalk type viruses, the most common cause of contagious gastroenteritis.
Enough hand antiseptic or alcohol rub must be used to thoroughly wet or cover both hands. The front and back of both hands and between and the ends of all fingers are rubbed for approximately 30 seconds until the liquid, foam or gel is dry. As well as finger tips must be washed well too rubbing them in both palms alternatively.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA recommends hand washing over hand sanitizer rubs, particularly when hands are visibly dirty.The increasing use of these agents is based on their ease of use and rapid killing activity against micro-organisms; however, they should not serve as a replacement for proper hand washing unless soap and water are unavailable.
Frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause dry skin unless emollients and/or skin moisturizers are added to the formula. The drying effect of alcohol can be reduced or eliminated by adding glycerin and/or other emollients to the formula. In clinical trials, alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing emollients caused substantially less skin irritation and dryness than soaps or antimicrobial detergents. Allergic contact dermatitis, contact urticaria syndrome or hypersensitivity to alcohol or additives present in alcohol hand rubs rarely occur.The lower tendency to induce irritant contact dermatitis became an attraction as compared to soap and water hand washing.
Despite their effectiveness, non-water agents do not cleanse the hands of organic material, but simply disinfect them. It is for this reason that hand sanitizers are not as effective as soap and water at preventing the spread of many pathogens, since the pathogens still remain on the hands.
Alcohol-free hand sanitizer efficacy is heavily dependent on the ingredients and formulation, and historically has significantly under-performed alcohol and alcohol rubs. More recently, formulations that use benzalkonium chloride have been shown to have persistent and cumulative antimicrobial activity after application,unlike alcohol, which has been shown to decrease in efficacy after repeated use, probably due to progressive adverse skin reactions.
Many people in low-income communities cannot afford soap and use ash or soil instead. Ash or soil may be more effective than water alone, but may be less effective than soap. Evidence quality is poor. One concern is that if the soil or ash is contaminated with microorganisms it may increase the spread of disease rather than decrease it.Like soap, ash is also a disinfecting agent (alkaline). WHO recommended ash or sand as alternative to soap when soap is not available.
One must use soap and warm running water if possible and wash all the skin and nails thoroughly. However, ash can substitute for soap (see substances above) and cold water can also be used.
First one should rinse hands with warm water, keeping hands below wrists and forearms, to prevent contaminated water from moving from the hands to the wrists and arms. The warm water helps to open pores, which helps with the removal of microorganisms, without removing skin oils.One should use five milliliters of liquid soap, to completely cover the hands, and rub wet, soapy hands together, outside the running water, for at least 20 seconds. The most commonly missed areas are the thumb, the wrist, the areas between the fingers, and under fingernails. Artificial nails and chipped nail polish harbor microorganisms.
Then one should rinse thoroughly, from the wrist to the fingertips to ensure that any microorganisms fall off the skin rather than onto skin.
One should use a paper towel to turn off the water. Dry hands and arms with a clean towel, disposable or not, and use a paper towel to open the door.
Moisturizing lotion is often recommended to keep the hands from drying out; Dry skin can lead to skin damage which can increase the risk for the transmission of infection.
Various low-cost options can be made to facilitate hand washing where tap-water and/or soap is not available e.g. pouring water from a hanging jerrycan or gourd with suitable holes and/or using ash if needed in developing countries (see Substance section too).
In situations with limited water supply (such as schools or rural areas in developing countries), there are water-conserving solutions, such as "tippy-taps" and other low-cost options.A tippy-tap is a simple technology using a jug suspended by a rope, and a foot-operated lever to pour a small amount of water over the hands and a bar of soap.
Effective drying of the hands is an essential part of the hand hygiene process, but there is some debate over the most effective form of drying in public washrooms. A growing volume of research suggests paper towels are much more hygienic than the electric hand dryers found in many washrooms.
In 2008, a study was conducted by the University of Westminster, London, and sponsored by the paper-towel industry the European Tissue Symposium, to compare the levels of hygiene offered by paper towels, warm-air hand dryers and the more modern jet-air hand dryers.The key findings were:
The scientists also carried out tests to establish whether there was the potential for cross contamination of other washroom users and the washroom environment as a result of each type of drying method. They found that:
In 2005, in a study conducted by TÜV Produkt und Umwelt, different hand drying methods were evaluated.The following changes in the bacterial count after drying the hands were observed:
|Drying method||Effect on bacterial count|
|Paper towels and roll||Decrease of 24%|
|Hot-air dryer||Increase of 12%|
Many different hand dryer manufacturers exist, and hand driers have been compared against drying with paper towels. [ citation needed ]
Hand washing using hand sanitizing wipes is an alternative during traveling in the absence of soap and water.Alcohol-based hand sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective.
Medical hand-washing became mandatory long after Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis discovered its effectiveness (in 1846) in preventing disease in a hospital environment.There are electronic devices that provide feedback to remind hospital staff to wash their hands when they forget. One study has found decreased infection rates with their use.
Medical hand-washing is for a minimum of 15 seconds, using generous amounts of soap and water or gel to lather and rub each part of the hands.Hands should be rubbed together with digits interlocking. If there is debris under fingernails, a bristle brush may be used to remove it. Since germs may remain in the water on the hands, it is important to rinse well and wipe dry with a clean towel. After drying, the paper towel should be used to turn off the water (and open any exit door if necessary). This avoids re-contaminating the hands from those surfaces.
The purpose of hand-washing in the health-care setting is to remove pathogenic microorganisms ("germs") and avoid transmitting them. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that a lack of hand-washing remains at unacceptable levels in most medical environments, with large numbers of doctors and nurses routinely forgetting to wash their hands before touching patients, thus transmitting microorganisms.One study showed that proper hand-washing and other simple procedures can decrease the rate of catheter-related bloodstream infections by 66 percent.
The World Health Organization has published a sheet demonstrating standard hand-washing and hand-rubbing in health-care sectors.The draft guidance of hand hygiene by the organization can also be found at its website for public comment. A relevant review was conducted by Whitby et al. Commercial devices can measure and validate hand hygiene, if demonstration of regulatory compliance is required.
The World Health Organization has "Five Moments" for washing hands:
The addition of antiseptic chemicals to soap ("medicated" or "antimicrobial" soaps) confers killing action to a hand-washing agent. Such killing action may be desired prior to performing surgery or in settings in which antibiotic-resistant organisms are highly prevalent.
To 'scrub' one's hands for a surgical operation, it is necessary to have a tap that can be turned on and off without touching it with the hands, some chlorhexidine or iodine wash, sterile towels for drying the hands after washing, and a sterile brush for scrubbing and another sterile instrument for cleaning under the fingernails. All jewelry should be removed. This procedure requires washing the hands and forearms up to the elbow, usually 2–6 minutes. Long scrub-times (10 minutes) are not necessary. When rinsing, water on the forearms must be prevented from running back to the hands. After hand-washing is completed, the hands are dried with a sterile cloth and a surgical gown is donned.
To reduce the spread of germs, it is better to wash the hands or use a hand antiseptic before and after tending to a sick person.
For control of staphylococcal infections in hospitals, it has been found that the greatest benefit from hand-cleansing came from the first 20% of washing, and that very little additional benefit was gained when hand cleansing frequency was increased beyond 35%.Washing with plain soap results in more than triple the rate of bacterial infectious disease transmitted to food as compared to washing with antibacterial soap.
Comparing hand-rubbing with alcohol-based solution with hand washing with antibacterial soap for a median time of 30 seconds each showed that the alcohol hand-rubbing reduced bacterial contamination 26% more than the antibacterial soap.But soap and water is more effective than alcohol-based hand rubs for reducing H1N1 influenza A virus and Clostridium difficile spores from hands.
Interventions to improve hand hygiene in healthcare settings can involve education for staff on hand washing, increasing the availability of alcohol-based hand rub, and written and verbal reminders to staff.There is a need for more research into which of these interventions are most effective in different healthcare settings.
In developing countries, hand washing with soap is recognized as a cost-effective, essential tool for achieving good health, and even good nutrition.However, a lack of reliable water supply, soap or hand washing facilities in people's homes, at schools and at the workplace make it a challenge to achieve universal hand washing behaviors. For example, in most of rural Africa hand washing taps close to every private or public toilet are scarce, even though cheap options exist to build hand washing stations. However, low hand washing rates rather can also be the result of engrained habits rather than due to a lack of soap or water.
The promotion and advocacy of hand washing with soap can influence policy decisions, raise awareness about the benefits of hand washing and lead to long-term behavior change of the population.For this to work effectively, monitoring and evaluation are necessary. One example for hand washing promotion in schools is the “Three Star Approach” by UNICEF that encourages schools to take simple, inexpensive steps to ensure that students wash their hands with soap, among other hygienic requirements. When minimum standards are achieved, schools can move from one to ultimately three stars. Building hand washing stations can be a part of hand washing promotion campaigns that are carried out in order to reduce diseases and child mortality.
Global Hand washing Day is another example of an awareness-raising campaign that is trying to achieve behavior change.
Few studies have considered the overall cost effectiveness of hand washing in developing countries in relationship to DALYs averted. However, one review suggests that promoting hand washing with soap is significantly more cost-effective than other water and sanitation interventions.
|Hand-pump or standpost||94|
|House water connection||223|
|Water sector regulation||47|
|Basic sanitation - construction and promotion||≤270|
|Sanitation promotion only||11.2|
The importance of hand washing for human health - particularly for people in vulnerable circumstances like mothers who had just given birth or wounded soldiers in hospitals - was first recognized in the mid 19th century by two pioneers of hand hygiene: the Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis who worked in Vienna, Austria and Florence Nightingale, the English "founder of modern nursing".At that time most people still believed that infections were caused by foul odors called miasmas.
In the 1980s, foodborne outbreaks and healthcare-associated infections led the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to more actively promote hand hygiene as an important way to prevent the spread of infection. The outbreak of swine flu in 2009 led to increased awareness in many countries of the importance of washing hands with soap to protect oneself from such infectious diseases. For example, posters with "correct hand washing techniques" were hung up next to hand washing sinks in public toilets and in the toilets of office buildings and airports in Germany.[ citation needed ]
The phrase "washing one's hands of" something, means declaring one's unwillingness to take responsibility for the thing or share complicity in it. It originates from the bible passage in Matthew where Pontius Pilate washed his hands of the decision to crucify Jesus Christ, but has become a phrase with a much wider usage in some English communities.
In Shakespeare's Macbeth, Lady Macbeth begins to compulsively wash her hands in an attempt to cleanse an imagined stain, representing her guilty conscience regarding crimes she had committed and induced her husband to commit.
It has also been found that people, after having recalled or contemplated unethical acts, tend to wash hands more often than others, and tend to value hand washing equipment more. Furthermore, those who are allowed to wash their hands after such a contemplation are less likely to engage in other "cleansing" compensatory actions, such as volunteering.
Symbolic hand washing, using water but no soap to wash hands, is a part of ritual hand washing featured in many religions, including Bahá'í Faith, Hinduism, and tevilah and netilat yadayim in Judaism. Similar to these are the practices of Lavabo in Christianity, Wudu in Islam (see also Muslim hygienical jurisprudence) and Misogi in Shintō.
Sanitation refers to public health conditions related to clean drinking water and adequate treatment and disposal of human excreta and sewage. Preventing human contact with feces is part of sanitation, as is hand washing with soap. Sanitation systems aim to protect human health by providing a clean environment that will stop the transmission of disease, especially through the fecal–oral route. For example, diarrhea, a main cause of malnutrition and stunted growth in children, can be reduced through sanitation. There are many other diseases which are easily transmitted in communities that have low levels of sanitation, such as ascariasis, cholera, hepatitis, polio, schistosomiasis, trachoma, to name just a few.
An intestinal parasite infection is a condition in which a parasite infects the gastro-intestinal tract of humans and other animals. Such parasites can live anywhere in the body, but most prefer the intestinal wall.
Washing is a method of cleaning, usually with water and often some kind of soap or detergent. Washing both body and clothing is an essential part of good hygiene and health.
Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent present in some consumer products, including toothpaste, soaps, detergents, toys, and surgical cleaning treatments. It is similar in its uses and mechanism of action to triclocarban. Its efficacy as an antimicrobial agent, the risk of antimicrobial resistance, and its possible role in disrupted hormonal development remains controversial. Additional research seeks to understand its potential effects on organisms and environmental health.
Dishwashing or dish washing, also known as washing up, is the process of cleaning cooking utensils, dishes, cutlery and other items to prevent foodborne illness. This is either achieved by hand in a sink using dishwashing detergent or by using a dishwasher and may take place in a kitchen, utility room, scullery or elsewhere. In Britain to do the washing up also includes to dry and put away. There are cultural divisions over rinsing and drying after washing.
A hospital-acquired infection (HAI), also known as a nosocomial infection, is an infection that is acquired in a hospital or other health care facility. To emphasize both hospital and nonhospital settings, it is sometimes instead called a health care–associated infection. Such an infection can be acquired in hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation facility, outpatient clinic, or other clinical settings. Infection is spread to the susceptible patient in the clinical setting by various means. Health care staff can spread infection, in addition to contaminated equipment, bed linens, or air droplets. The infection can originate from the outside environment, another infected patient, staff that may be infected, or in some cases, the source of the infection cannot be determined. In some cases the microorganism originates from the patient's own skin microbiota, becoming opportunistic after surgery or other procedures that compromise the protective skin barrier. Though the patient may have contracted the infection from their own skin, the infection is still considered nosocomial since it develops in the health care setting.
Staphylococcal enteritis is an inflammation that is usually caused by eating or drinking substances contaminated with staph enterotoxin. The toxin, not the bacterium, settles in the small intestine and causes inflammation and swelling. This in turn can cause abdominal pain, cramping, dehydration, diarrhea and fever.
Infection control is the discipline concerned with preventing nosocomial or healthcare-associated infection, a practical sub-discipline of epidemiology. It is an essential, though often underrecognized and undersupported, part of the infrastructure of health care. Infection control and hospital epidemiology are akin to public health practice, practiced within the confines of a particular health-care delivery system rather than directed at society as a whole. Anti-infective agents include antibiotics, antibacterials, antifungals, antivirals and antiprotozoals.
Trichobacteriosis axillaris is a superficial bacterial colonization of the hair shafts in sweat gland–bearing areas, such as the armpits and the groin. It is a trivial disease of worldwide occurrence that is believed to be caused by the genus Corynebacteria.
Hand sanitizer is a liquid generally used to decrease infectious agents on the hands. Formulations of the alcohol-based type are preferable to hand washing with soap and water in most situations in the healthcare setting. It is generally more effective at killing microorganisms and better tolerated than soap and water. Hand washing should still be carried out if contamination can be seen or following the use of the toilet. The general use of non-alcohol based versions has no recommendations. Outside the health care setting evidence to support the use of hand sanitizer over hand washing is poor. They are available as liquids, gels, and foams.
Hand dryers are electric machines found in public bathrooms. They may either operate with the push of a button or automatically using a sensor. Hand washing is an important part of hygiene, and so an effective method of drying the hands is necessary.
Lysol is a brand name of cleaning and disinfecting products distributed by the Reckitt Benckiser company. The line includes liquid solutions for hard and soft surfaces, air treatment, and hand washing. The active ingredient in many Lysol products is benzalkonium chloride, but the active ingredient in the Lysol "Power and Free" line is hydrogen peroxide. Some of the scents from Lysol include "Crisp Linen", "Floral", "Fruit & Citrus", "Gourmand", and "Fresh". It is marketed as Lizol in India.
The term skin flora refers to the microorganisms which reside on the skin, typically human skin.
Global Handwashing Day (GHD) is a campaign to motivate and mobilize people around the world to improve their handwashing habits. Washing hands at critical points during the day and washing with soap are both important.
Influenza prevention involves taking steps that one can use to decrease their chances of contracting flu viruses, such as the Pandemic H1N1/09 virus, responsible for the 2009 flu pandemic.
Automatic soap dispensers dispense a controlled amount of soap solution. They are often used in conjunction with automatic faucets in public restrooms. They function to conserve the amount of soap used and stem infectious disease transmission.
WASH is an acronym that stands for "water, sanitation and hygiene". Universal, affordable and sustainable access to WASH is a key public health issue within international development and is the focus of Sustainable Development Goal 6.
Prevention of viral hemorrhagic fever is similar for the different viruses. There are a number of different viral hemorrhagic fevers including Ebola virus disease, Lassa fever, Rift valley fever, Marburg virus disease, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and yellow fever. Lassa, Ebola, Marburg and CCHF can be spread by direct contact with the body fluids of those infected. Thus the content here covers the prevention of Ebola.
Foodborne illness is any illness resulting from the food spoilage of contaminated food, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate food. Infant food safety is the identification of risky food handling practices and the prevention of illness in infants. Fooddborne illness is a serious health issue, especially for babies and children. Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to foodborne illness because their immune systems are not developed enough to fight off foodborne bacterial infections. In fact, 800,000 illnesses affect children under the age of 10 in the U.S. each year. Therefore, extra care should be taken when handling and preparing their food.
WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation