What is the best way to prevent infections, including Covid-19, influenza, mono, strep throat? Wash your hands! There are some new scientific studies out, looking at the best way to do this. Wash your hands for at least 15 seconds with soap and water (school kids learn to sing their ABCs to properly time this!). Make sure to get the most commonly missed areas, such as under nails or in between fingers. Bad germs generally live on the surface of the skin and are washed away quite easily if you take the time to do this right!
If you don’t have access to soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer is quicker, kills more germs, and can be used anywhere. There were initially concerns that hand sanitizer may cause bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics, but alcohol works in a way that breaks apart bacteria proteins. This mechanism of action is not associated with resistance. Alcohol based hand sanitizer kills both good and bad germs on your hands. The good germs often live under the skin and will grow back quickly. Certain types of bad germs, such as C-Dif, which causes bloody diarrhea, are not killed by hand sanitizer.
Good and bad germs are everywhere! The best way you can protect yourself from infection is to wash your hands, especially before meals, or after touching dirty surfaces.