CHICAGO -- With the flu vaccine shortage this year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have advised Americans, "Hand washing is the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick." As a reminder and incentive for individuals to wash their hands more frequently, The Handwashing for Life Institute is providing a free, downloadable poster on its Web site at http://www.handwashingforlife.com The poster states, "Shot or Not, Wash Right, Left and Often." Space is provided to sign a pledge, "I will wash my hands often."
Jim Mann, executive director of the Handwashing for Life Institute, says, "Even if you have the flu vaccine, it is only 50 percent effective. A commitment to hand hygiene is likely to afford you better protection than the vaccine itself. Added handwashing also gives you added protection from a long list of foodborne illness threats, including norovirus, the number one foodborne pathogen."
Mann has long been a proponent of handwashing as a way to reduce the risk of foodborne illness, but the flu vaccine shortage has led his organization to highlight the public health benefits of hand hygiene, in general.
"Everyone needs to take responsibility for stopping the spread of germs, especially this year, and our handwashing poster and website provide specifics on what we can do about it. Teachers, employers, parents ... anyone can use and benefit from the handwashing pledge poster."
The Handwashing for Life Institute is devoted to advancing the science of hand hygiene with the purpose of reducing the risk of foodborne illness and other illnesses caused by poor hand hygiene. The Web site address is http://www.handwashingforlife.com .
Source: Handwashing for Life Institute