Are You Washing Your Hands All Wrong?

Source: MSN

Each year 3-5 million people come down with the flu, resulting in 250 – 500 thousand deaths worldwide. With flu season is right around the corner, it is time for everyone to begin taking precautions.  While the flu vaccine is the most effective way to keep from getting the flu virus, there are a few basic changes you can begin to today that will help ensure a flu free fall and winter.

One of those thing is simply washing your hands regularly. And according to a new study from the University of Arizona, up to 85 percent of us are doing it wrong.

Wendi Altemeyer, Register Nurse and Infection Control Coordinator at Renown Health is here to show us the proper way to scrub up.

Are you washing your hands all wrong?

Before you laugh at the idea of a whole article about how to wash your hands, consider this: About 85 percent of people are doing it wrong, according to researchers from the University of Arizona.

If you don’t scrub properly, your risk for getting sick skyrockets. “Hand washing is one of the most–if not the most–important ways to protect yourself from infections,” says Yves Longtin, M.D., FRCP, an associate professor at Quebec’s Universite Laval. “Most infections are acquired by touching other people, animals, or surfaces that harbor harmful microbes. Then we contaminate the food we ingest or contaminate our faces when we touch them.” (Think twice before getting in contact with The 5 Worst Places to Stick Your Fingers.)

Washing up requires a little more than simply slathering on soap and water. Follow these guidelines to keep your hands squeaky clean–and your body infection-free.

1. When should you wash up?

Every single time you use the bathroom, for starters–even if you steer clear of the stall. (Only 59 percent of guys hit the sink after using a urinal, according to new research from Christopher Newport University.) “Your genitalia do have bacteria on them,” says microbiologist Don Schaffner, Ph.D., of Rutgers University. “If you touch your genitalia, your hands will be contaminated and you will spread that to other people.” Plus, the next guy you high-five doesn’t want to touch your junk via the transitive property.

Scrub up before you eat or prepare food, and after you cook–raw produce and meat are major germ hotspots, says Charles Gerba, Ph.D, a professor of microbiology at Arizona. It’s also a good practice to wash your hands every time you come home, Schaffner says. And of course, rinse after touching anything especially dirty, like when you take out the trash, pet your dog, or come in contact with surprisingly nasty everyday items. […]

Read the full story on MSN.