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The recent outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, China has killed many people across China and we are seeing it quickly spread to other parts of the world. Here in Australia, we are facing increasing levels of anxiety and even through health officials have said face masks are not required, Chemist Warehouse has run out because of the huge demand.
The coronavirus, like other viruses that cause colds and flu, is most often transmitted on the hands. People commonly catch colds when they rub their nose or their eyes after their hands have been contaminated with the cold virus. By washing your hands frequently, you wash away germs that you may have picked up from other people or from contaminated surfaces.
Parents can encourage their children by setting an example. Easy when you have a liquid soap in close proximity to the sink, then wash your hands in front of the children to teach them that hand washing with soap and water is simple — remind them it's an important way to prevent getting sick with flu, colds, sore throats and other infections. Also, because dirty hands often can carry germs, teaching children to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth also will help prevent illness. Make hand washing fun for kids by singing “Happy Birthday” twice while they rub their hands together with soap and water. This way, you’ll be sure they washed for a good 20 seconds.
The World Health Organisation has released guidelines on the best hand-washing technique to keep germs at bay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and then wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. This practice will help avoid spreading germs to others. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder instead of your hands. Hand washing takes on an especially important role during the winter months, when infectious diseases such as the flu are in season. (If you haven’t already, consider getting a flu shot.) You also can protect your health during cold and flu season by getting plenty of sleep, exercising, eating nutritious foods and drinking plenty of fluids. Also, remember to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing and avoid rubbing your eyes and nose. Stay away from crowds when possible, and don't share food or drinks.
The bottom line is that hand washing is an effective way to avoid getting sick. With proper hand washing, you can protect your health and help prevent the spread of virus's to others.