About the Bacteria on Your Hands

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We've all seen the commercials with kids sneezing into their hands then picking up a piece of dropped candy. The commercial isn't filmed to warn you to wash your hands though, nor is it a public service announcement. It is an ad to buy hand sanitizer and it's right. Ridding yourself of hand bacteria can prevent unnecessary bouts with illness that can deplete your wallet and your health. Read further to learn more about the bacteria on your hands.

Considerations

  • Consider this. According to the Mayo Clinic as reported to CNN, the combination of flu and pneumonia is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Since the flu can be spread by bacteria on surfaces that you touch, that your coworker touched after wiping her child's nose in a rush before work and just before her, the janitor touched after cleaning the toilets. It stands to reason that dirty hands are highly suspect in the spread of disease. Every time your hands come into contact with your face you increase your chances of becoming ill due to bacteria on your hands, bacteria that can reproduce every twenty minutes.

Types

  • Everyone knows that flu viruses and cold germs can congregate on hands. Also found on the hands are the bacteria that cause E. coli, salmonella and gastrointestinal problems. One of the most common types of bacteria known to man is staph. Because in recent years staph is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics which can prove deadly, washing your hands is more than good hygiene, it can save your life.

Effects

  • Especially for those with weakened immune systems bacteria can be dangerous. Many cases of E. coli can be traced back to bacteria on hands after someone handled raw meat or came into contact with animal feces. The effects can be life threatening to the respiratory system. When the simple act of washing one's hands can prevent these illnesses, is it worth taking the chance?

Prevention/Solution

  • Bacteria can reproduce itself every twenty minutes. With that in mind, taking the time to properly wash your hands can prevent illness. Be mindful when washing your hands in any restroom to use warm water when available and vigorously rub your hands together with soap for several seconds. Don't turn the water off with your bare hands. Instead, use a disposable paper towel to prevent the further spread of bacteria. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer handy as well to use after contact with surfaces that are used by several people such as library computers, hand rails and door knobs.

Warning

  • Bacteria can reproduce itself every twenty minutes. The longer you wait to wash your hands the more likely you are to collect illness causing bacteria on your hands and increase your chances of getting sick. Bacteria found on the hands that also touch the food you eat is responsible for the illnesses of millions of people. Of these, almost five thousand die yearly. You can't afford not to take precautions.

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