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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

World Hand Hygiene Day 2021: Wash Your Hands Regularly And Prevent These Diseases From Spreading

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:

COVID-19

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.

Influenza

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.

Diarrhoea

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.

Conjunctivitis

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

World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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