Soapy has developed an app that will enable any institution an easy installation of the ECO micro-station, without the need for external help.Learn More
A science teacher is imploring students and parents to wash their hands after posting the results of her classroom’s stomach-churning experiment.
Flu season is in full swing. The CDC is reporting that 30 states—especially southern states like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina—are already seeing flu activity. A preliminary estimates report states that there have already been 1.7 million to 2.5 million flu illnesses nationwide between October and November. Thankfully, there are measures everyone can take to keep the virus at bay. And a science teacher from Idaho is spreading awareness with a jaw-dropping post that has gone viral.
Jaralee Annice Metcalf shared photos of a science project she did with her class, writing alongside a series of photos, “We took fresh bread and touched it. We did one slice untouched. One with unwashed hands. One with hand sanitizer. One with washed hands with warm water and soap. Then, we decided to rub a piece on all our classroom Chromebooks.” The result: “So DISGUSTING!!!”
Photos by : COURTESY OF JARALEE ANNICE METCALF
Metcalf pointed out that yes, the school typically sanitizes the Chromebooks but didn’t for this experiment, the results took three to four weeks due to the bread’s preservatives which extend shelf life, and the bread was placed in tightly-sealed freezer Ziploc bags.
“If the bread had been exposed to air and moisture, the experiment may have gone faster,” Metcalf tells Parents.com. “The breads that were very clearly exposed to different germs grew mold quicker. And ones touches by clean hands plus the soap and water ones were not exposed to the germs that cause the mold growth to quicken.”
In her Facebook post, Metcalf identified herself “as somebody who is sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired and urged followers to wash their hands” and urged her followers to wash their hands, remind their kids to wash their hands, and to remember that hand sanitizer is not an alternative to washing your hands.
She pointed those interested in doing the experiment themselves to instructions provided on C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital’s website.
Since Metcalf shared the images, her post has earned over 59K shares and over 8K comments.
Ultimately, the science teacher hopes that parents not only better understand the importance of hand-washing but that they take the results into consideration when their child comes down with a bug. “Germs spread rapidly,” Metcalf tells Parents.com. “And it doesn’t matter how often they’re told or how well they’re taught to wash their hands, children won’t always do it properly or enough.” That said, when hand-washing fails, a sick day might be called for, which could preempt illnesses like the flu from spreading even further.
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Photo for representation only.
Hand hygiene helps to reduce school absenteeism rates due to illnesses by almost 40% of studies suggest, said a senior healthcare professional.
While many factors contribute to school absenteeism, student illness is believed to be the main driver of student absenteeism.
The transmission of infections within schools can result in infections making students too sick to attend classes, said Dr Mohammed Rahmathulla Shafeeq, Assistant Executive Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Hamad Medical Corporation.
He urged parents and teachers to place special focus on handwashing.
“Proper and regular handwashing is essential for children as it ensures hygiene and averts infection,” said Dr Shafeeq.
“Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If soap and water are unavailable, use hand sanitiser,” he said.
Diseases such as flu, common cold, vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach flu are common diseases that can be positively impacted by more frequent hand hygiene and routine cleaning and disinfection of commonly touched surfaces.
“Proper and regular handwashing at school and outside keeps children free of infection. And schools should have proper facilities that help students easily wash their hands and maintain proper hygiene,” said Dr Shafeeq.
“Sinks should be placed in a place that is quite accessible for all students. And we recommend liquid soaps as soap bars cause infection to be transmitted from an infected child to others while it is used for handwashing,” he added.
Dr Shafeeq also said that tissue papers should be made available and children should be asked to make use of them after washing hands.
“Possibility of infection is high if the hands remain wet,” he said.
Dr Shafeeq also urged the school authorities to ensure that enough break time is available for all.
“Inadequacy of time can create inconvenience for students and this should be addressed. And all students should be given bathroom break if they demand it during class time,” he said.
He asked parents to teach their children personal hygiene and ensure hygiene is properly maintained in order to ensure that their children are free of infection.
“Children should be asked to take regular baths and brushing of teeth. And they should be sent to school with cleaned washed clothes,” he said.
Dr Shafeeq urged school authorities to regularly clean and maintain water cooler dispensers and air conditioning units in order to ensure they don’t transmit anything harmful.
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At the 72nd World Health Assembly, agenda item 12.5 (Patient Safety) had a focus on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in health care facilities. The Global Hand washing Partnership, along with over 170 signers, signed on to a Civil Society Organization letter.The WHO Member States have now adopted the resolution to improve safe WASH services in health facilities around the world for safer patient care. The resolution asks Member States to develop national roadmaps, establish and implement standards, and invest in systems to support sustainable WASH services.It also requests that the WHO provide leadership, mobilize resources for investment, report on global progress, and in emergencies, help coordinate and implement WASH and infection prevention and control in healthcare
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The cleanliest countries in Europe have been revealed in a survey disclosing people’s hand washing habits.
The Dutch are the least likely to wash their hands with soap and water after using the toilet, according to a report by Gallup International.
Only half of those surveyed in the Netherlands said they automatically washed their hands after visiting the bathroom, compared to 96 per cent of those in Bosnia & Herzegovina, which was found to be the most hygienic nation.
Other countries that shy away from a good scrub include Italy, where only 57 per cent of those surveyed said they automatically wash their hands, as well as Spain and France, with just over 60 percent of those surveyed in both countries claiming to give their hands a thorough clean.
Although 75 per cent of Britons said they automatically washed their hands with soap, the UK did not make it into the most spotless nations.
Trailing just behind Bosnia & Herzegovina is Moldova where 94 per cent regularly wash their hands, followed by Portugal with 85 per cent.
washing your hands frees you of taking the blame for any unhappy outcome of a difficult decision.
Dr Spike Lee, a researcher at the university said: “It’s not just that washing your hands contributes to moral cleanliness as well as physical cleanliness… our studies show that washing also reduces the influence of past behaviours and decisions that have no moral implications whatsoever.”
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Bloodstream infections (BSI) are one of the most cited complications among hemo-dialysis patients within dialysis units (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). These types of infectious complications, such as peritonitis, often associated with unhygienic technique and exit-siteinfection. Prevention of exit-site location is largely associated with skin-resident microbes. Approximately 42% of peritonitis episodes are known to be associated with touch contamination.
One of the most commonly cited tools to prevent infections is efficient hand washing (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). In 2005, the International Society for Peritoneal Dialysis (ISPD) recommended hand washing as a standard care recommendation and procedure to befollowed in dialysis treatment centers.
In a 2013 study, researchers compared the hand washing efficiency of two different techniques for patients undergoing dialysis care: (1) the use of simple hand hygiene followed by antiseptic hand hygiene, and (2) only antiseptic hand washing. Simple hand hygiene followed traditional hand washing techniques, while the antiseptic hand hygiene mechanism included the use of 3 mL of 70% ethyl alcohol as a mechanism. Interestingly, this study found that the number of bacteria found on hands was increased when the mechanism for hand washing included the use of simple hand hygiene in addition to the antiseptic hand washing method in comparison to only antiseptic hand washing.
The results of this study potentially indicate that one of biggest hindrances in achieving bacteria-free hands is the use of improper or ineffective techniques for washing hands. This study indicates that one of the largest obstacles to achieving sufficient hand hygiene likely relies on the ability of patients to accurately and efficiently clean their hands.
References:Center of Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Infection Prevention Tools. U.S. Department of Heath & Human Services. Retrieved from:https://www.cdc.gov/dialysis/prevention-tools/index.html
Figueiredo, A. E., de Siqueira, S. L., Poli-de-Figueiredo, C. E., & d’Avila, D. O. (2013). Hand hygiene in peritoneal dialysis patients: a comparison of two techniques. Peritoneal Dialysis International, 33(6), 655-661.Learn More
Petting zoos could be a breeding ground for drug-resistant superbugs after a study found more than one in 10 animals carrying at least one strain of bacteria capable of withstanding multiple important antibiotics.
Israeli researchers collected samples from 228 animals across eight randomly chosen petting zoos, and concluded they were “reservoirs” for microbes that could easily spread from children to vulnerable relatives.
Antibiotic resistance has been dubbed a global health emergency which the UK’s chief medical officer has said could push medicine back to the “dark ages” – when even minor cuts or surgery raised the prospect of lethal infections.
The Ariel University team were looking for bacteria able to inactivate or evade beta-lactam antibiotics, a major group of vital drugs which includes penicillin, cephalosporin and carbapenems.
“Other measures include prohibiting food and drink being consumed near the animals and regular hand-washing stations.”
They found 35 drug-resistant species in all, while 12 per cent of the animals had at least one species of drug-resistant bacteria, and a quarter had two or more.
“Our findings demonstrate that animals in petting zoos can result in shedding and transmission of multi-drug-resistant pathogens that may cause illness for human visitors, even when the animals appear healthy,” said Professor Shiri Navon-Venezia, presenting the research at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease in Amsterdam on Saturday.
Bacteria found included highly infectious strains of drug resistant E coli, which cause diarrhoea if ingested as well and urinary tract infections.
While healthy immune systems can contend with these invaders, they can turn serious in young children and older people, and may also pose risks to women who are pregnant or people whose immune systems are compromised.
“However, another recent study suggested that in hospitals some superbugs are starting to resist even powerful alcohol hand sanitisers.”
Bacteria are also adept at passing on genes to other species, so once they spread into a new environment other species can rapidly develop resistance.
While inappropriate use of antibiotics in humans – such as prescriptions for viral colds where they will have no effect – is part of the issue, overuse of antibiotics in farming is another major problem.
In many countries, antibiotics are used as a growth promoter in meat production and this creates more pressure on bacteria to develop resistance. Antibiotic residues in wastewater also spread this pressure into streams and other environments.
The report found that drug-resistant strains were particularly abundant in animals that had been treated with antibiotics, and said zoo owners should ensure these animals are not allowed to be petted.
“We recognise the high educational and emotional value of petting zoos for children,” Professor Navon-Venezia said. “Therefore, we strongly recommend that petting zoo management teams implement a strict hygiene and infection control policy, together with rationalised antibiotic policy, in order to reduce the risk of transmission between animals and visitors.”
Other measures include prohibiting food and drink being consumed near the animals and regular hand-washing stations. However, another recent study suggested that in hospitals some superbugs are starting to resist even powerful alcohol hand sanitisers.
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What You Missed at the Georgetown StartUp Nation Tech Fair
…In the public health sphere, an organization called Soapy stood out from the rest on the Tech Fair expo floor. Soapy offers an intelligent hygiene micro-station that only takes only 30 seconds and uses 95% less water than any other available solution. Currently operating in an Indonesian school district, the organization offers a sustainable, “smart” way to encourage proper hygiene practices among the students and staff. Permitted users are given sensor bracelets to access the hand-washing stations, effectively preventing the tragedy of common resources being misused by the public and ensure sustainable usage…”Learn More