Experts have revealed the recommended times when people should thoroughly wash their hands.
In an interview with The Filipino Times, Dr. Maria Elena Oliva, General Practitioner at NMC Specialty Hospital in Abu Dhabi said that hands serve as one of the main instruments of disease transmission, a reason it is important to regularly wash them especially during exposed moments.
“Our hands serve as one of the instruments in disease transmission through transfer of germs or microorganisms by touching. The role of handwashing is vital in breaking this chain of disease transmission. A 40 second of proper handwashing with soap can eliminate considerable amount of pathogens or microorganisms that cause diseases,” she said.
When should people hand wash? Oliva says:
“Before, during, and after preparing food, before eating food, before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea, before and after treating a cut or wound, after using the toilet, after changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, after touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste, after handling pet food or pet treats, and after touching garbage.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Henry V. Galuba Jr., Specialist of Internal Medicine at International Modern Hospital Dubai said that people should also wash their hands during times you have an illness like diarrhea and respiratory infection, as well as after touching soiled gadgets or any dirty inanimate object.
“Regular handwashing is very important, as this is the most effective means of preventing infection. Our hands are one of the most active parts of the body as they are involved in accomplishing different, making them exposed to pathogens,” he added.
Oliva added that soap of alcohol-based sanitizers are important to hand hygiene as they serve as a surfactant in mechanically removing germs from our hands or surfaces.
Galuba, meanwhile, noted that soap simply has the “ability to penetrate the fat layer of the virus because once it is inside, it causes an outward pulling effect, causing the viral destruction.”
As to how many times people should wash hands in a day, the experts said there is no one-standard rule. However, it helps to note that bacteria will always be present in our hands, and as much as we can, we should ensure handwashing.
“Even if your hands are visibly clean, it doesn’t tell if they are free from harmful germs,” said Oliva.