The single most effect and important way you can prevent infection is to wash your hands. Viruses that can cause colds and flu are often transmitted on the surface of your hands. These organisms can be picked up from touching contaminated surfaces or from other people by coughing, sneezing or touching other people’s hands. People commonly catch colds or the flu virus when they rub their nose or eyes after their hands have been contaminated. By washing your hands with soap and water you are removing the bugs that have contaminated your hands and reducing the risk of illness.

At MCH all staff follow our infection prevention and control policy which states all staff will wash their hands at 5 critical points: before and after patient contact, before an aseptic task, after bodily fluid exposure and after contact with the patients surroundings. This will reduce the risk of transmission of these viral organisms along with others that may cause infection such as bacteria.

Washing your hands with soap and water will take between 15-30 seconds. Drying of the hands is important to ensure they do not get sore and cause damage to the hand surface. Remember to wash your hands frequently to keep those bugs at bay and away! Remember to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your elbow or shoulder instead of your hands to prevent spreading these germs. You can use an alcohol based hand rub if you do not have access to soap and water