(ABC News) – As the coronavirus continues to cause concern, there is one thing that we all can do to greatly reduce the risk of infection and it has been around since the 1840s.
While infectious diseases have been around for centuries it wasn’t until 1846 when a Hungarian doctor noticed that patients got more sick more often if their doctors didn’t wash their hands
With the fears of the novel coronavirus on the rise, you likely have heard public health officials reminding you how important it is to wash hands thoroughly and often.
Many believe that they are doing a good job washing their hands, but that is not always the case. Just last year, researchers in Hong Kong revealed — that on average 87% of people observed were washing their hands after using the toilet.
Here in the U.S., studies show only ten percent of the observed — that’s three hundred or so people — washed their hands for 15 seconds — while most spent just under 7 seconds.
According to the CDC, we should take a minimum of 20 seconds to wash our hands — making sure to clean between fingers and under fingernails.
So while the experts work on vaccines and treatments for emerging viruses — you have the power to reduce your risk of getting sick by simply washing your hands the right way.