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National Handwashing Awareness Week: Dec. 5 - 11

This week is National Handwashing Awareness Week! With the recent spike in viral illnesses seen across the US, the message of this week is more important than ever.

The CDC provides excellent information on handwashing and celebrating Global Handwashing Day (October 15):

Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.

The CDC also provides communication resources in multiple languages. They have videos, podcasts, and files like fact sheets, posters, and more, which you can print off to display in labs, classrooms or around your own home to remind family members about the best handwashing techniques, or reminders of when hands need to be washed:

Regular and thorough handwashing can help keep you and those around you healthy this winter. Washing your hands can decrease the number of respiratory illnesses in the general population by 16-21%. It also greatly reduces the number of people getting sick with diarrhea by 23-40% for most, and by 58% for those with weakened immune systems.

The top two killers of young children around the world are diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, which can be better prevented by handwashing. Learn more about the science on the CDC website.

The CDC also provides information and tips on Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings. You can find Education courses for healthcare providers, as well as downloadable guidelines about hand hygiene.

By spreading awareness of the importance of handwashing to those around you, you can help stop the spread of illnesses this winter and all year long!

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