Proper Hand Washing, Drying Helps Combat Spread Of New Norovirus Strain
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Feb 20, 2013
With the current global outbreak of the Sydney strain of norovirus,i hand washing hygiene has never been more important. This highly contagious form of gastrointestinal virus can live on surfaces for weeks and is commonly communicated by touching a contaminated surface and then putting hands or fingers in the mouth.ii,iii When it comes to preventing norovirus, hand sanitizer is no substitute for washing hands with soap and water, which is the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) recommendation for preventing its spread. That’s where Georgia-Pacific Professional can help.
To further guard against infection from microorganisms like norovirus, proper hand drying with a paper towel can be as important as washing with soap and water. A Mayo Clinic study determined that because bacteria is more likely to be transmitted from wet skin than dry skin, proper hand drying after washing should be an integral part of the hand hygiene process.iv Another study showed that paper towels can reduce bacteria on finger pads by up to 76 percent and on palms by up to 77 percent.v To further help prevent cross-contamination from infected surfaces, touchless towel and soap dispensers like the enMotion® family of dispensers from Georgia-Pacific Professional can play an important role.
“enMotion touchless towel dispensers feature a totally enclosed roll of paper towels with on-demand, one-sheet dispensing, helping improve hygiene by offering fewer touched surfaces - a benefit shared by our enMotion soap dispensers,” said Alex Volpe, vice president and general manager − towel category for Georgia-Pacific Professional. “These high capacity towel and soap dispensers are perfect for crowded places like long-term care facilities, daycare centers, hospitals, schools, office buildings, hotels, and cruise ships where norovirus often spreads and where one missed hand hygiene event due to lack of towels can make a difference in the contamination of surfaces and infection of individuals.”
For more than 10 years, enMotion touchless towel dispensers have helped contribute to healthier restrooms. The industry-leading enMotion brand of dispensers expanded in recent years to include touchless soap and sanitizer systems, further influencing a healthier restroom environment. In addition to helping prevent the spread of norovirus and other illnesses, enMotion’s one-at-a time towel dispensing controls usage, contributing to a reduction in waste of up to 30 percent compared with standard folded towels and minimizing a facility’s overall environmental impact.
Hand washing 101
When it comes to helping prevent illness, using a proper hand washing technique is critical. The following steps are based on recommendations by the CDC as the right way to wash hands.vi For additional tips to help stay healthy, visit http://gppro.com/healthsmart/.
1. Wet your hands with clean, running warm water.
2. Add some soap and rub hands together so the soap lathers up. Make sure to rub the soap between your fingers and under your fingernails.
3. Continue rubbing your hands for 20 seconds. Sing “Happy Birthday” twice to time yourself.
4. Rinse your hands well under running water.
5. Dry your hands using a paper towel. Remember to dry between your fingers.
6. Turn off the faucet with the paper towel and then throw the towel in the waste basket.