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hand washing and the flu

The power to fight the flu is in your hands

Flu season has arrived late this year, but it’s now in full swing in Kentucky.

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a vaccine. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, it’s not too late! Make plans to get a flu vaccine soon.

In addition to getting vaccinated, an easy and effective way to prevent the spread of the flu is to wash your hands correctly. Hand hygiene is the single most important thing we can do to prevent the spread of infections, but unfortunately, many people don’t wash their hands correctly, or for long enough.

Here’s how to do it the right way:

How to wash

  1. Wet your hands with warm or cold water and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands, including the backs, between your fingers and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. You can sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or the “Happy Birthday” song twice to make sure that you or your children are washing for long enough.
  4. Rinse your hands well under running water.
  5. Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dryer.

When to wash

Washing your hands with soap and water at key times throughout the day is one of the most important things you can do to get rid of germs. Most of us know the basics of when to wash our hands, but there are some times when it’s is most important.

  • Before and after both preparing and eating food.
  • Before and after giving medical care of any kind.
  • After using the bathroom, changing diapers, or cleaning up after a child or pet who has used the bathroom.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • After touching garbage, or when your hands are visibly dirty.

Other tips

  • If you don’t have water or soap, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Make sure that it’s at least 60 percent alcohol, and only let children use it under adult supervision.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas at home, work or school.
  • If possible, use a paper towel to open doors, turn faucets or even touch elevator buttons.

Next steps:

Hand Hygiene

Wash your hands the right way

Washing your hands is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do for your health. When you wash your hands regularly before and after certain activities, you reduce your risk of getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to other people, too. It’s a quick and simple way to help keep everyone around you healthy.

Today is World Hand Hygiene Day and a perfect time for a handwashing refresher. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are five steps for success: Wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry. Here’s how to do it:

  • Wet your hands with clean water (warm or cold), turn off the faucet and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” from beginning to end or recite the ABCs in your head.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them, and use a paper towel to turn off the faucet, and then throw it away.

Make sure to wash your hands:

  • Before Also wash them before, during and after preparing food.
  • After using the bathroom.
  • After coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or caring for someone who is ill.
  • After taking out the trash.
  • After petting animals.
  • When visiting someone who is sick.
  • Whenever your hands look or feel dirty.