As a complete and utter germ-o-phobe, I find solace in knowing that with the bad comes the good. Global Handwashing Day is celebrated annually to encourage the most simplest of hygiene practices: hand hygiene.
Global Handwashing Day was established in 2007 by the UN to educate school children to foster a habit of washing hands regularly. This day focuses on encouraging the washing of hands with soap and water; and to raise awareness of the benefits of good hand hygiene.
The frightening part is that bacteria are easily spread through touch. In fact 80% of diseases are transmissible through touch. Thank heavens for hand sanitiser! I take it everywhere with me – just in case there isn’t water source nearby (You never know where those hands have been that you have to shake, or what was on that surface you need to touch – it might be contaminated.
Did you know that the flu virus can live on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours? Not to mention that diseases such as Salmonella, Norovirus and E. coli can be transmitted through touch…
What is even worse is that 60% of South Africans don’t wash their hands, according to the Global Hygiene Council’s 2009 Global Hygiene Survey. This fact is especially alarming when one thinks about the food industry. Fortunately enough, there are non-negotiable hand hygiene protocols when it comes to food safety. What goes hand-in-hand with proper hygiene practices is also putting in place integrated pest control measures to prevent pest infestations, as pests pose as much of a hygiene risk (if not more) than poor hand hygiene!
Cockroaches, flies and rodents can pose various health risks which are similar to the bacteria and viruses mentioned above. For companies, it is always imperative to put in place a pest control solution not only to protect the company’s reputation, but also to provide peace of mind and ensure that optimal hygiene is provided for your guests, visitors and clients. It is always of the highest importance to ensure that a pest management solution is employed to circumvent a solution that can have a negative impact. For the individual, it is also important to prevent a health hazard from taking place in one’s home – see our article from last week for a few home pest control tips.
With the focus on hygiene, it’s important to remember to regularly wash your hands with soap and water, whilst singing Happy Birthday, twice! (That’s how you’ll know you have been washing your hands for the correct amount of time). Especially in light of the fact that soap can act as a vaccine against the spread of germs, I will now wash my hands even more frequently (if that is possible for a germ-o-phobe!).
Happy Handwashing Day and don’t forget to scrub-a-dub-dub!