HOW TO PROPERLY WASH YOUR HANDS

For centuries, hand washing has been one of the cheapest means to achieve a clean bill of health and prevent contamination of bacterial from publicly used facilities and equipment. The reason for this is that we are surrounded by bacteria (in fact some live within us and help us survive, they are called good bacteria.) and harmful ones can be transmitted from person to person or from animal to person by physical contact with contaminated surfaces.

As human beings, we are in constant connection with our physical environment. This inevitability makes us prone to come in contact with disease causing bacteria and viruses. Thankfully, our immune systems are sometimes able to kill these disease causing agents but not all the time.

Washing of hands regularly is now seen as an effective means of reducing ones risk of developing illnesses caused by certain microorganisms.

One of the most likely places for bacteria to spread the bathroom. A single gram (that is roughly a teaspoon) of fecal matter contains about one trillion germs, with this you can imagine why the bathroom can be considered one of the epicenters of bacteria. A recent study shows that in a given state or country, over 90% of currency notes such as the naira in circulation can contain traces of fecal matter. Other common spots are Phones and accessories, doorknobs, handles of garbage cans etc.

It is clear that not only do we need to wash our hands regularly, but we also need to wash our hands THE RIGHT WAY!

These are some tips to follow in other to wash your hands properly.

  • Turn on the tap and wet your hands for some seconds
  • Apply hand wash or soap to both sides of your palm, make sure to form a nice thick leather
  • Rub your palms together, focus on one side at a time
  • Focus on both sides of your palms, in between your fingers and under your nails.
  • You should do this for about 20 seconds or more.
  • Rinse your hands thoroughly, make sure your hands are not slippery.
  • Dry your hands with a towel or tissue paper. Air dry if available.
  • Use a towel to turn of the tap.

We have a responsibility to ourselves, loved ones and our environment to maintain a high level of hygiene. The recent outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 has made that so clear.

It is one thing to know how to wash your hands, it’s another thing to know when it is ideal to do so. However, you can wash your hands anytime you want but it is ideal to watch out for this scenarios;

  • After using the toilet
  • Before and after eating.
  • Before, during and after preparing meals.
  • After engaging in sanitary activities.
  • After changing the diaper of a child.
  • Before breast feeeding
  • After taken care of a sick person.
  • After handling dusty equipment’s.
  • After work.

Washing your hands can go a long way in protecting you and preventing you from contracting harmful bacteria and viruses such as the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (CONVID – 19).

WHAT ARE CORONAVIRUSES?

CORONAVIRUS

WHAT ARE CORONAVIRUSES?
Coronaviruses are a rather large family of viruses that can cause diseases. Many strains of the virus affect birds and mammals including humans. The coronavirus can cause illnesses such as common cold to more serious diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronaviruses are usually zoonotic, that means they are transmitted between animals and people.

THE ORIGIN OF 2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (2019-nCoV).
According to the World Health Organization, the 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans was first reported in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31, 2019. Global health authorities are yet to pin point its exact origin but early hypothesis links this new strain to a sea market in Wuhan China. Recent information suggests that the first person got sick on Dec. 1, 2019.

HOW ARE THEY TRANSMITTED?
Early information suggests that majority of people infected in Wuhan had some form of contact at a sea market. However, recent cases include people who had no prior link with the sea market which suggest that it is transmitted from person to person via contact with infected bodily fluids like droplets from coughing or sneezing, contact with infected surfaces and also infected animals.

SYMPTOMS OF 2019-nCoV
Infected people exhibit cold or flu like symptoms within two to four days of contracting the
virus. The symptoms are usually mild but can be fatal in rare cases. Symptoms also varies
from person to person.
1. Sneezing
2. Coughing
3. Fatigue
4. Fever
5. Acute respiratory problems, organ failure and death (rare cases)

DIAGNOSIS
Physical diagnosis may prove difficult as the symptoms are quite similar to that of the flu or cold. However, proper diagnosis can be achieved with laboratory tests.

PREVENTION
1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
2. Use alcohol based sanitizer if water is not available.
3. Avoid contact with infected people, surfaces and animals.
4. Use facemasks and gloves when entering infected areas.
5. Keep all contact surfaces clean.

6.  Maintain strict hygiene at home.

TREATMENT
There is no cure yet for this strain of the coronavirus. However it can be managed by giving symptomatic cure (this means giving remedies to symptoms).

CURRENT STATISTICS (AFFECTED COUNTRIES, CONFIRMED CASES AND DEATHS)
This report is according to World Health Organization’s Situation Report as at Feb. 9, 2020
1. 26 Countries have reported at least one confirmed case of the 2019-nCoV.
2.  37,558 confirmed cases globally with 99.2% of cases in China.
3. 6,188 severe cases in China.
4. 812 deaths recorded globally with 99.9% in China.

CONTAINMENT PROCEDURES
The spread of this new strain of coronavirus is closely monitored by, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and health organizations like El-Rapha Hospitals and Diagnostics. People arriving from affected countries are being screened at airports and in some cases placed under quarantine if they show symptomatic signs. There has been no reported case on the African continent. We will provide more update as we get them.