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Originally Published by News-Medical

Research has shown that many harmful diseases spread due to a lack of proper hand hygiene. Thereby, washing hands could effectively prevent the spread of infections. One can spread germs, i.e., harmful pathogenic microorganisms, by simply touching another person. Also, one can catch germs by touching a contaminated object or surfaces and, subsequently, touching their mouth, eyes, and nose.

Inappropriate hand hygiene significantly harms children around the world. According to a report, around 1.8 million children across the world, under the age of five years, die due to diarrheal diseases and pneumonia. One out of every three children who are infected with diarrhea, or one out of every five children who are affected with respiratory ailments (e.g., pneumonia), could be saved from catching the disease by washing hands properly with soap and water.

Even though many individuals around the world clean their hands with water frequently, very few use soaps while washing their hands. Several studies have indicated that soaps remove germs from hands more efficiently, compared to washing hands only with water.

Microbes, e.g., Salmonella, E.coli O157, and norovirus, cause diarrhea, respiratory infection, and hands-foot-mouth diseases. These germs are often present in feces and can contaminate an individual’s hand during changing a diaper or using the toilet. It can also reach one’s hand while handling raw meat containing traces of animal excreta.

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