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HHS HealthBeat (July 12, 2012)

Giving a Hand to Hand-Washing

A woman washes her hands.
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Life can be a dirty business, and the dirt gets on your hands, and all that mess can lead to infections, as people pick up germs which can make them sick. So hand-washing is a good thing.

To reinforce the point, the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center, its research hospital, had a Hand Hygiene Awareness Day – a kind of hand-washing health fair. Research nurse Amina Oughourli did a demonstration test in which she got to see what she missed – but which showed up as a kind of gunk glow-in-the-dark.

“I did the dark light simulation with the dirt, and it was pretty gruesome, so I’m going to be washing my hands pretty vigilantly – even more so than I was before.”

A good 20 seconds of hand-washing can do wonders, though.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: July 12, 2012