Wash Your Hands Regularly And Prevent These Diseases From Spreading

Wash Your Hands Regularly And Prevent These Diseases From Spreading

According to the World Health Organisation, maintaining hand hygiene is one of the effective ways in preventing diseases like COVID-19, common cold, diarrhoea among others
News, Swasth India
- in News, Swasth India
World Hand Hygiene Day 2021: Wash Your Hands Regularly And Prevent These Diseases From SpreadingThe simple act of hand hygiene can save lives, says WHO
  • Improved handwashing with soap reduces the risk of diarrhoea: CDC
  • Handwashing can prevent respiratory infections, such as a cold: CDC
  • Handwashing is an important preventive measures against COVID-19: WHO

New Delhi: Human hands come into contact with various surfaces, foods, animals and fellow humans every day. Each touch can be a source of germs, viruses and bacteria and the hand can become a medium of transmitting these disease-causing elements to enter the body. According to experts, keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps people can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. For years, efforts have been made to promote handwashing as an essential habit to prevent diseases. “Maintaining hand hygiene by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds regularly or by rubbing hand sanitizer is a simple act that can save lives. Soap molecules trap and destabilise microorganism and cause it to detach from the skin,” explains Dr KK Aggarwal, Former President, Indian Medical Association.

Also Read: World Hand Hygiene Day: The Day Dedicated To The Importance Of Hand Hygiene In Health Care And To Remind That Clean Hands Save Lives

Dr Shweta Khandelwal, Additional Professor, Public Health Foundation Of India (PHFI), Delhi explains,

People touch their face more than they realise. They use their hands to prepare and eat food. They even touch other people including the sick, senior citizens, babies and those with compromised immunity. Thus, unclean hands not only allow direct entry of pathogen in the body through the mucous membrane, contaminated food and cause diseases, but it also spreads the infection to others.

Here are some of the diseases and conditions that can be prevented by washing hands regularly:


The novel coronavirus that has caused the ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19 is spread through tiny droplets from the infected person’s breath, cough, and sneeze, as per experts. Inhaling the droplets or touching surfaces that an infected person has been in contact with can lead to the spread of the infection. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and experts from across the world have emphasized the importance of following hand hygiene to prevent the infection from spreading. It is one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective measures against the coronavirus. According to UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), regular handwashing with soap can reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 infection by 36 per cent.

Common Cold

Common cold might not be as serious as coronavirus but it still makes the patient weak and uncomfortable, says Dr Aggarwal. Handwashing can lower the risk of catching common cold, he asserted.


According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States of America, Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. Flu viruses spread mainly via tiny droplets generated when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. It also spreads when a surface or object that has flu virus on it is touched and then the same hand comes in contact with one’s own mouth, nose or eyes. CDC says that apart from getting the flu vaccine, frequent handwashing also helps in combating the disease.

Also Read: Rotary International Has Implemented Water, Sanitation And Hygiene Facilities In Over 30,000 Schools, Here’s How

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV)

According to CDC, almost all children will have an RSV infection by the time they turn two. People infected with RSV usually show symptoms within 4 to 6 days after getting infected which include runny nose, decrease in appetite, coughing, sneezing, fever and wheezing.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching face with unwashed hands, says CDC while listing the methods of preventing RSV.


CDC says that faeces from people or animal is a source of germs like Salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus that cause diarrhoea. It added that a single gram of human feces—which is about the weight of a paper clip—can contain one trillion germs. Diarrhoea is most commonly caused by viruses passed from person to person, or by eating or drinking food or water contaminated. WHO says that diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old killing over 5 lakh (5,25,000) children every year.

According to CDC, handwashing can effectively reduce the number of people who get sick with diarrhoea by a significant 23-40 per cent.


Also known as Pink Eye, Conjunctivitis is caused by viruses, bacteria and allergens, according to CDC. When people rub their eyes to alleviate the discomfort and then touch their surroundings, the pathogens that cause Conjunctivitis to end up on surfaces touched, and from there it can be transmitted to others. CDC says that Conjunctivitis can be prevented by practicing good hygiene. It recommends that a person suffering from Conjunctivitis and those who are around someone with the condition must wash their hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

Also Read: Under Its ‘Health Cannot Wait’ Campaign, NGO Smile Foundation Is Promoting Hygiene And Sanitation Amid COVID-19

Hand Foot And Mouth Disease

Common among children, hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is caused by contact transmission from an infected person’s nose, mouth, blisters, and feces that get on hands and then into the mouth. The disease causes sores on the mouth and throat, a rash on the hands and feet, a fever and loss of appetite. CDC recommends inculcating the habit of frequent handwashing in the family, especially among children and said that they should be encouraged to keep their hands out of their mouth.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A, a viral infection that can cause liver problems, jaundice, abdominal pain, is often spread via contaminated food prepared by people who have not cleaned their hands properly after using the bathroom. According to Dr Aggarwal, practising good hand washing techniques is one of the easiest ways of preventing Hepatitis A from spreading.

Worm Infestation

Worm Infestation is another illness that can be prevented by improving hand hygiene, says Dr Aggarwal. According to WHO, humans become infected with worms due to eggs or larvae of worms in contaminated food and vegetables that are not carefully washed and cooked. These can also spread through unclean hands or utensils or through penetration of the skin by infective hookworm larvae in contaminated soil.

Antibiotic Resistance

CDC says that handwashing can prevent infections, respiratory diseases, foodborne diseases among others and thus reduce the amount of antibiotics that people use. This will further help in battling the rise in antibiotic resistance across the globe, as per CDC. Antimicrobial resistance, according to CDC, is a condition that happens when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. According to WHO, antibiotic resistance leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased mortality.

Also Read: Opinion: Sustained Handwashing Behaviour In India – A Necessity During COVID-19 Pandemic

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene


Coronavirus has spread to 193 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 17,91,56,496 and 38,82,233 have died; 5,81,68,051 are active cases and 11,71,06,212 have recovered as on June 23, 2021 at 3:45 am.


3,00,28,709 50,848Cases
2,89,94,855 68,817Recovered
3,90,660 1,358Deaths
In India, there are 3,00,28,709 confirmed cases including 3,90,660 deaths. The number of active cases is 6,43,194 and 2,89,94,855 have recovered as on June 23, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths

59,87,521 8,470

1,26,468 1,055

57,42,258 9,043

1,18,795 482


28,29,460 12,617

1,00,881 746

27,16,284 11,730

12,295 141


28,15,029 3,709

1,18,615 4,541

26,62,250 8,111

34,164 139

Tamil Nadu

24,36,819 6,895

56,886 4,443

23,48,353 11,144

31,580 194

Andhra Pradesh

18,57,352 4,169

53,880 4,260

17,91,056 8,376

12,416 53

Uttar Pradesh

17,04,678 202

3,910 253

16,78,486 397

22,282 58

West Bengal

14,85,438 1,852

22,508 232

14,45,493 2,037

17,437 47


14,32,778 397

1,918 78

14,05,927 467

24,933 8


9,91,653 482

8,007 557

9,70,244 1,032

13,402 7


9,51,393 137

2,388 303

9,40,101 437

8,904 3


8,83,490 2,957

30,859 1,240

8,48,960 4,159

3,671 38


8,22,620 135

5,159 480

8,07,424 612

10,037 3

Madhya Pradesh

7,89,415 65

1,707 273

7,78,902 318

8,806 20


7,67,726 146

2,200 137

7,56,231 263

9,295 20


7,20,207 268

2,811 206

7,07,833 468

9,563 6


6,15,574 1,175

16,640 606

5,95,348 1,771

3,586 10


5,93,063 405

5,968 509

5,71,207 880

15,888 34


4,88,179 2,869

32,975 350

4,50,924 2,482

4,280 37


3,44,775 110

1,417 72

3,38,256 180

5,102 2


3,38,978 171

2,896 68

3,29,030 231

7,052 8

Jammu And Kashmir

3,12,584 428

7,181 578

3,01,134 999

4,269 7

Himachal Pradesh

2,00,791 188

2,276 132

1,95,062 315

3,453 5


1,64,957 303

2,920 146

1,59,029 438

3,008 11


1,15,364 284

3,214 150

1,10,423 433

1,727 1


64,993 575

9,214 84

54,714 649

1,065 10


63,140 395

3,747 163

58,735 554

658 4


61,467 23

278 33

60,383 56



45,976 421

4,273 77

40,915 341

788 3

Arunachal Pradesh

33,664 289

2,548 9

30,956 279

160 1


24,438 64

1,757 87

22,204 149

477 2


19,871 33

360 5

19,309 38



19,458 137

2,430 18

16,732 152

296 3


18,409 430

4,424 197

13,900 233


Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,520 4

61 1

10,455 3



9,504 33

315 4

9,142 36

47 1

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,425 10

103 6

7,195 4


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