Stay well this winter

30 November 2016

The winter months traditionally see an increase in viral illnesses – from the common cold and influenza, to norovirus, more commonly known as the winter vomiting bug. These highly contagious viruses are unpleasant to say the least and in worse case scenarios can be quite debilitating, explains Gojo Industries Europe.

Hand hygiene is one of the most preventative ways to reduce the spread of germs, therefore it is paramount that hand hygiene best practice is encouraged, not only during cold and flu season but all year round. More than 80% of illnesses can be transmitted by the hands, however research shows that 25% of people don’t wash their hands after using the washroom, while a further 46% don’t wash long enough to be effective. These startling facts highlight how important hand hygiene is and the need for education and awareness on why and when to wash or sanitise your hands.

Handwashing is the first line of defence against the spread of infection. Hand sanitising is suitable when water and soap is not available, or as an additional layer of protection. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, whether foam, gel or wipes, significantly reduces the spread of germs, Gojo says. 

Washing or sanitising hands is most crucial after using the washroom, before preparing food, before eating and after sneezing or coughing. Hands should be washed or sanitised after touching anything that may carry germs such as shopping trollies, handrails and other public areas. 

Mike Sullivan, MD of GOJO Industries-Europe, said: “The simple act of hand washing can make a huge difference to health, helping to prevent the spread of germs and reduce the chances of getting sick in the first place – ensuring well-being during the colder months.”