The Importance of Hand Hygiene in Protection from Coronavirus

Washing our hands and keeping them clean is a simple but important process, which has re-emerged thanks to Covid 19 and does not cost any money.

According to the data of the World Health Organization, lower respiratory tract diseases can be reduced by 45 percent with the importance given to hand washing and other simple hygiene recommendations.

There has been a habit of washing hands in various religions and cultures for thousands of years. If you remember, it was not in vain that in our childhood days our mothers asked everyone to wash their hands before eating…

In the 1800s, when microorganisms were not fully discovered, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, of Hungarian origin, observed that in the deaths of new mothers in the hospital where he worked, doctors transmitted germs to mothers who gave birth without washing their hands after working on cadavers. He made it mandatory for the doctors he worked with to wash their hands and the tools they used with chlorine solution. In this way, maternal deaths decreased from 18 percent to 1 percent. However, despite this, Dr. Summelweis lost his job as a result of the objections, it was claimed that he had a mental health problem and died at the age of 47. Afterwards, hand washing was taken very seriously in surgery, in which British Dr. Joseph Lister was a pioneer. In the Ottoman Empire, Florence Nightingale, the founder of today’s modern nursing, was a pioneer in spreading the rules of hand washing and hygiene in military hospitals during the Crimean War.

Viruses break down and disappear when we wash our hands with soap, so how does this happen?

The coronavirus has the virus genome in the middle, the protective lipid membrane around it, and then the protein ends. The virus settles in human cells using these protein ends and multiplies. When we wash our hands thoroughly with soap for a minute, the soap molecules in the water adhere to the fragile lipid membrane of the viruses, easily breaking this membrane, so that the viral particles are washed away with the water. washed and destroyed. Incidentally, I would like to state that most of the antiseptics, disinfectants, and germ killers marketed in the market do not protect hands better than a good soap and water cleaning. washing is sufficient for protection. In the absence of water and soap, 80-degree cologne or alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used. However, excessive hand cleaning with alcohol more often than necessary can dry the skin and cause cracks and eczema. For this reason, hands should be moistened with a moisturizing cream a few times and should not come into contact with the face and eyes. Gloves are only suitable for Covid 19 patients, patient relatives, and healthcare workers. The person on the street, on the other hand, may feel a false sense of trust just because I am wearing gloves, and may cause the virus to spread around more. If gloves are to be used, the hands should be washed with soapy water before removing them, then they should be disposed of as medical waste and not used a second time. Today, the importance of washing our hands properly is understood more and more every day. The first priority in body cleaning should be washing our hands.

I wish you healthy days, sir.

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