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Hand washing

It may seem obvious, but washing your hands is the most effective thing you can do to help prevent the spread of infection when you're visiting a hospital or another similar environment, like a care home.
People in hospital are especially vulnerable to infections because they are normally already ill and their immune system may not be as strong as it normally is. Infections such as MRSA, Clostridium difficile, food poisoning or colds and flu can easily be passed on through contact with visitors, health care staff or by touching equipment or surfaces.
It's important to wash your hands before and after you touch a sick or injured person or visit a hospital. Also, make sure you wash your hands before you eat or handle food, after you go to the toilet, after you cough, sneeze, handle rubbish or touch animals or animal waste.
It should take at least 15 seconds to wash your hands properly. Start by wetting your hand and applying soap. Rub your hands palm to palm. Put your right palm over the back of your left hand interlacing your fingers. Then do the same with your left palm over the back of your right hand. Put your hands palm to palm and interlace your fingers. Put the backs of your fingers under the palms of your hands and interlock your fingers again. Clasp your thumb in the palm of your hand and rub rotationally, then do the same on the opposite thumb. Use all the fingertips of your right hand to rub the palm of your left hand in a rotational manner. Rinse your hands, and then towel dry them thoroughly.
In hospitals alcohol based hand rubs are used in addition to hand washing. When using hand rubs, make sure you rub it into all the areas of your hand. Again, you should pay particular attention to your thumbs, fingertips, between your fingers and the backs of your hand, just as you did before. Keep rubbing it in until your hands feel dry, and do make sure you use enough alcohol rub to cover all your hands.
Although this Article says it's for people visiting hospital, its guidance will be useful for everyone.
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Editor: Ryan Cranston

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