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October 15th is Global Handwashing Day

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “The COVID-19 pandemic provides an important reminder that one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy is also one of the simplest — handwashing with soap and water. Keeping hands clean can prevent 1 in 3 diarrheal illnesses and 1 in 5 respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu.

Handwashing in Communities

Handwashing with soap and water is not only simple and inexpensive, but also can dramatically reduce the number of young children who get sick. Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Handwashing education in the community can:

  • Reduce the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by about 23–40%
  • Reduce absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29–57%
  • Reduce diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by about 58%
  • Reduce respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by about 16–21%”

To learn more about how you can prevent the spread of disease through better hand washing, read CDC’s recommendations here.