Don't Get Caught Dirty Handed: ASM's Clean Hands Campaign
We've heard a lot about washing hands lately, especially during the H1N1 outbreak. And when it comes to washing their hands, Americans say they are getting the message. However, their actions speak otherwise. So sayeth literature from ASM distributed at its 109th annual meeting in Philadelphia.
Although nine out of ten (92 percent) Americans in a telephone survey said they always washed their hands after using a public restroom, an observational survey in four cities found the actual number to be more like three of four (77 percent). That's down nearly 10 percent from a survey conducted in 2005, and men are most responsible for the decline. Overall, the percentage of women observed washing their hands was down only slightly from 90 percent in 2005 to 88 percent in 2007.
Turns out, ASM says Mom was right -- you need to wash your hands.
Check out this ASM-maintained site, www.washup.org for downloadable educational materials about hand hygiene and more survey results. Also, the CDC Web site includes "Put Your Hands Together," a health education video to promote handwashing at www.cdc.gov/Features/CDCtv/HandsTogether.html.