World handwashing day: why it is celebrated on October 15

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They claim that this habit can reduce the risk of contracting diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia by up to 50 percent.

Since ten years ago, Every October 15th the World Handwashing Day is celebrated, an initiative promoted by the Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization to make the population aware of the importance of this daily practice in order to avoid diseases and conditions.

The first major campaign was held in 2008, a period that the United Nations General Assembly declared the International Year of Sanitation. Since then, the campaigns have been adding activities in different countries with the same objective.

According to the WHO, diarrhea is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality, and 88 percent of deaths from diarrhea They are due to the lack of access to sanitation facilities and the lack of availability of safe water for hygiene and consumption.

In turn, infectious diseases such as pneumonia, which is the leading cause of death in children under five years of age, could be reduced between 21 and 47 percent if this habit is promoted.

Specialists point out that “the habit of washing hands with soap is the most economical and effective measure to prevent this type of disease.”

According to the World Health Organization, hand hygiene has scientific evidence in the prevention and control of coronavirus. Although this wash is only effective if it is done with plenty of soap and water (alcohol gel is also accepted).

1. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

2. Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing. This is key: the patient spreads by coughing or sneezing directly towards another or if he covers himself with his hand and leaves the particles on some surface and then another person touches them and puts his hands to his face.

3. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean.

4. Consult a doctor if fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches and physical weakness appear. Especially if an area where the coronavirus is already circulating was visited. That was precisely the case of the first confirmed Argentine patient. Symptoms can appear up to 14 days after exposure.

5. Do not share plates, glasses, bedding, and other household objects with a person with symptoms.

6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

7. Stay home and not go to work, school, or public places if symptoms occur.

8. Do not eat raw or undercooked meat.

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