This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
Hand washing is a powerful way to prevent the spread of
Medicine did a study to urge hand washing around the world. They
found that one million lives could be saved each year if people washed their
hands with soap often. They said that programs to increase hand washing with
soap could be among the most effective ways to reduce infectious disease.
Doctors say many diseases can be prevented from spreading by hand washing.
These include pinworms, influenza, the common cold, hepatitis A, meningitis and
Hand washing destroys germs from other people, animals or objects a person
has touched. When people get bacteria on their hands, they can infect themselves
by touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Then these people can infect other
The experts say the easiest way to catch a cold is to touch your nose or eyes
after someone nearby has sneezed or coughed. Another way to become sick is to
eat food prepared by someone whose hands were not clean.
The experts say that hand washing is especially important before and after
preparing food, before eating and after using the toilet. People should wash
their hands after handling animals or animal waste, and after cleaning a baby.
The experts say it is also a good idea to wash your hands after handling money
and after sneezing or coughing. And it is important to wash your hands often
when someone in your home is sick.
The experts say the most effective way to wash your hands is to rub them
together while using soap and warm water. They say you do not have to use
special antibacterial soap. Be sure to rub all areas of the hands for about ten
to fifteen seconds. The rubbing action helps remove germs. Then rinse the hands
with water and dry them.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are rubbed into the hands and do not require
soap and water. Experts say these products must contain at least sixty percent
alcohol to be effective in killing most bacteria and viruses.
Experts also say that people who use public bathrooms and dry their hands
with a paper towel should use the towel to turn off the water. Then, before
throwing it away, use the same paper to open the bathroom door.
And that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Nancy Steinbach.
For more news and information about health, go to voaspecialenglish.com. I'm