Jessamine County Coroner

Handwashing

My wife showed me an advertisement recently that she thought might be a great reminder for people that relates to personal health and wellbeing.  I couldn’t agree more, and decided to pass it along through this article.  After all, anything that might contribute to keeping each of us and our families healthy is vitally important to all of us.  The ad is a picture of a hand with no fewer than twelve little germ cartoons holding onto the fingers and palm of the hand.  Each germ has its own name and it tells what it will do to you if it gets into your body.  As cute as these germs are in cartoon form, the message is just how easy it is to become infected in every day activity by the things we touch, and how much damage these little germs can account for.  The most important part of the message though, is that they all can be prevented for the most part by the simple action of washing our hands! Frequent hand washing is the key, with emphasis placed on doing so after using the bathroom and just before eating.  It’s interesting that as simple as hand washing is, it seems that a lot of people simply don’t do it at the most important times.  I can’t tell you the number of times I have been in the restroom of a public restaurant, and have witnessed some use the facility, look in the mirror, then just walk out the door.  As if that weren’t bad enough, they then go to the buffet line.  Imagine what might be transferred to the buffet spoons and utensils from that one person!  It seems like so many of us feel in too much of a hurry to even protect ourselves, let alone others around us.  I would like to challenge each of you readers to keep a mental count of how many times you wash your hands in just one day.  Another thing you might try is to notice how many times you place your hands near your eyes, mouth and nose.  These are obviously the main transmission routes for these germs into your body.  Let me introduce these germs to you and what they cause:

Bacillus Species – a normal contiminate

Staphylococcus - skin infections, zits and boils                                                                                                    

Beta Streptococci Group A - sore throat                                                                                                           

Klebsiella - wound infections

Clostridium Difficile - colitis     

Proteus - Urinary tract infections   

Influenza-flu symptons - pneumonia

Shigella - diarrhea

Bacteroides – ear infection, vaginitis

E.Coli – diarrhea and urinary tract infections

Haemophilus – contagious conjunctivitis (pink eye)

Pseudomonas Aerunginosa – wound infections, pus

While most of these bacteria have strange and difficult to pronounce names, they are around us everywhere and quite easy to become infected with.  Coming into contact with them and not washing can easily cause painful and enduring infectious conditions and illness.  Please wash your hands frequently, especially before eating and teach your children to do so as well.

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