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Everyday hygiene is essential to prevent spread of infections: Global Hygiene Council

Everyday hygiene practices, such as handwashing, can help to significantly reduce the risk of common infections, study finds

May 8, 2020  by CM Staff

Evidence shows hand hygiene and surface disinfection reduce the spread of infection.

LONDON – According to a new paper published in the American Journal of Infection Control online, everyday hygiene practices, such as handwashing, can help to significantly reduce the risk of common infections. Evidence shows risk reduction can be up to 50%.

With the increased hygiene efforts being deployed to delay the spread of COVID-19, the Global Hygiene Council’s (GHC) public health experts are calling for even greater attention to improved hygiene behaviour in homes and communities to help reduce the spread of infection.

This Position Paper, developed on behalf of the GHC, explores evidence that following everyday hygiene measures in homes and community settings can play a vital role in containing and delaying the threat from infectious microorganisms.

Multiple studies demonstrate that harmful bacteria and viruses can be transferred from an infected individual to other people via hands and frequently touched surfaces and can survive in enough numbers to cause an infection.

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Regular handwashing and surface disinfection can help reduce the levels of microorganisms on hands and frequently touched surfaces. Adopting a hygienic approach offers a way to maximize protection against infection, at the times and places where there is the greatest risk of transmission.

Jean-Yves Maillard, professor of pharmaceutical microbiology at Cardiff University and lead author, said in a prepared statement, “In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and evidence presented in this Paper, it is more urgent than ever for us all to recognize the role of community hygiene to minimize the spread of infections. This also helps to reduce the consumption of antibiotics and helps the fight against antimicrobial resistance.”