Proper Handwashing — and Drying — Is the No. 1 Way to Prevent Spread of Contagious Disease

By Dr. Mercola With drug-resistant infections on the rise, disinfecting yourself and your surroundings may seem like a good idea. However, research has clearly shown that this may exacerbate problems rather than solve them. When it comes to preventing the spread of contagious disease, handwashing tops the list of effective strategies.1 The key is to do it, and to do it correctly, using proper products and techniques. Studies suggest compliance with handwashing practices in healthcare settings is surprisingly low, typically no higher than 40 percent.2 An estimated 1 in 4 patients also leave the hospital with a superbug on their hands, suggesting patients also need to become more mindful about handwashing when in a health care setting.3 Unfortunately, many still labor under the mistaken assumption you need antibacterial soap to get the job done right. Many also believe using an air dryer is preferable to using a towel when in a public restroom. Surprising as it may seem, air dryers may


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