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Stop Those Germs Infographic

This information has been reviewed and approved by Infection Preventionist Rosine Angbanzan, MPH (April 2021).

Summary: Stop Those Germs

You can get sick from getting germs on your hands and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. One of the best ways to protect yourself from serious infections is to clean your hands frequently and thoroughly.

When to Clean Your Hands?

  • Before touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Before preparing food and eating
  • After using or helping someone in the restroom, and changing diapers
  • Before and after changing bandages
  • After blowing your nose, coughing and sneezing
  • After handling garbage, animals, animal food and animal waste
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick

Cleaning with Soap and Water

  1. Wet your hands with clean water
  2. Lather your hands with soap, including the backs, under nails and between fingers
  3. Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds, long enough to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice
  4. Rinse hands thoroughly
  5. Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry

Germs in Health-Care Settings

  • Providers wash hands frequently and before putting on gloves
  • Patients may ask providers to clean hands

Using Hand Sanitizer

  • Use sanitizer that’s at least 60 percent alcohol
  • Rub product on hands, fingertips, thumbs, back of hands and between fingers
  • Continue rubbing hands until hands feel dry (about 20 seconds)

Germ Facts

  • 20 seconds is needed to scrub your hands correctly
  • 5% of hand washers scrub for at least 15 seconds
  • 1 in 5 people don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom
  • 100 MPH is how fast germs move during a sneeze
  • 1 trillion is the the number of germs in 1 gram (1/4 teaspoon) of human feces

More Information on Germs

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