Keeping Hands Clean
Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is common in many parts of the world, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.
Proper hand hygiene in health care settings is integral to the prevention of infections. CDC has a number of resources for health care providers, including guidelines for proper hand hygiene [PDF - 495 kb] and an interactive training course on standards to prevent healthcare-associated infections. To learn more, please visit CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings page.
Good health habits for preventing seasonal flu include proper handwashing to help stop the spread of germs at home, work, and school. For more information, please visit CDC’s Good Health Habits for Preventing Seasonal Flu page.
After an emergency, finding running water can be difficult. However, keeping your hands clean can help you avoid getting sick. For more information and resources on handwashing after an emergency, please visit the Hygiene and Handwashing (for Water-related Emergencies and Outbreaks) page.
Good hand hygiene is one of the most critical control strategies in outbreak management on board ships and cruises. To learn more, please visit CDC’s Keeping Your Hands Clean on a Cruise page.
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