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Protect against Coronavirus through hand-washing

What we know at the moment is that Covid-19 or, Coronavirus as it’s widely known, is spread through close contact with an infected person’s body fluids (eg. droplets from coughing and sneezing) or by touching a surface that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on. The best way to avoid the virus and prevent its spread is by practising diligent and active hygiene approaches. The primary methods include correct hand-washing and hygienic sneeze/cough etiquette.

How to wash your hands to protect against Coronavirus?

Hand-washing is a simple and effective method of preventing the spread of infection, for both Covid-19 and other viruses.

The HSE’s Six-Step hand washing technique is a useful guide for keeping your hands clean. Washing your hands is second nature to most of us but as with everything we do all the time, it’s always handy to get a refresher course in case we’ve picked up bad habits along the way.

Before washing your hands, be sure to remove all jewellery. Then wet your hands under running water and dispense soap into a cupped hand. Thoroughly lather all over your hands (with particular focus on the areas outlined below). Rinse hands under running water and pat dry.

Handwashing method
Handwashing method

The Six-Step hand-washing technique

  1. Rub palm to palm
  2. Rub backs of both hands
  3. Rub palm to palm with fingers interlaced
  4. Rub backs of fingers (interlocked)
  5. Rub both thumbs
  6. Rub both palms with fingertips and rub both thumbs

Check out this handy video from the World Health Organization (WHO) to see the handwashing technique in action.

Make sure to focus on catching those often missed out on areas with a thorough hand wash.


How to practice healthy cough etiquette? 

Another important step in prevention is practising correct etiquette around sneezing and coughing. Never cough or sneeze into your hands. Instead, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. If no tissue is available, sneeze/cough into your elbow.

After sneezing or coughing, always dispose of the tissue directly in a bin – do not reuse tissues or keep them in your pockets. Then proceed to wash your hands using the above methods.

Cover your cough and sneeze
Cover your cough and sneeze

Stay informed on the latest developments about Coronavirus. Follow the advice given by your healthcare provider, the HSE, or your employer on how to protect yourself and others. Check out our other posts on the facts around Coronavirus.

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