Raising awareness about handwashing

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Cold and flu season is well upon us, and it is time to start putting more thought into how to limit the spread of germs and infections.

It is Handwashing Awareness Week and Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital's infection preventionist highlighted the best ways to keep yourself and others healthy by keeping your hands clean.

Washing your hands may not be something you put much thought into, but it is important to keep in mind that not washing your hands, or not washing them correctly, could put you or your loved ones at risk of carrying infections.

"This is rhinovirus. This is the common cold, and this is influenza, the flu,” Andrea Chapman, Infection Preventionist, said referring to the stuffed microbes she was holding. “So, these guys look cute and cuddly, but we do need to remember that can be spread from person to person and make us quite sick."

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a quick and easy way to fight against a wide array of bacteria and viruses.

Washing your hands with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds is the best option if your hands are visibly dirty or after using the restroom.

"You want to get in between your fingers. You want to get your thumb, don't forget your thumb. It's the most commonly missed digit of our fingers. And then, under your nails and around your cuticles. So, especially folks with longer fingernails, you want to make sure you get under there because it's a really convenient place for bacteria and viruses to hang out. and one final area is around the wrists," Chapman explained.

Instead of spreading germs, spread the word to wash your hands.

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