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Washing hands is crucial. But have you sanitized your nose?

Posted at 11:42 AM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-29 16:19:45-04

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Hand hygiene, such as handwashing or sanitizing, is well understood as a simple and effective way to reduce the spread of germs and avoid getting sick. In fact, 89% of Americans believe sanitizing your hands helps reduce the risk of infection according to a recent national survey by YouGov. Only 3 out of 10 Americans, however, understand that sanitizing the nose can also help reduce the spread of germs that can cause illness.

During a time of heightened attention on evidence-based procedures to reduce the spread of infection, the Sanitize Your Nose campaign aims to educate the public on the importance of combining sanitizing the nose with routine hand hygiene practices to help reduce the spread of germs.

DID YOU KNOW?

· Hands transport germs, but the nose is the primary location where germs enter and exit the body. When we touch our nose, which we do 100 times a day on average, they can become contaminated with germs that can easily be transmitted. Sanitizing the nose can break this cycle of contamination between the hands and nose and helps prevent the spread of infection.

· Nasal sanitizing is an established infection prevention practice used in hospitals to reduce infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all hospitals incorporate nasal sanitizing—referred to as “nasal decolonization” in the health care setting—for all patients prior to major surgeries and other situations in which a patient is at higher risk for infection.

· There are many different germs in the nose that are unique to each individual. These germs, which are often dependent on the people and places a person is exposed to, can include many types of potentially pathogenic, or disease-causing, agents.