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Biggest Reasons Why Washing Your Hands Is So Important

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Let's face it, germs are everywhere. So washing hands frequently throughout the day cannot only help reduce the risk of getting sick, but lower the chances of spreading germs to those we care about, such as family and friends.

Sounds simple enough, right? Earlier this month, Katherine Smith Lockler, a nurse from Florida posted video called "After Work Thoughts." The nurse was clearly upset about how people don't take the extra time to wash their hands, even when visiting or working at the hospital.

To help out, we've compiled a list of the biggest reasons why washing hands is so important.

Prevent Getting Sick

The cold and flu virus is spread simply by people touching contaminated objects and then touching their faces, or those they care about. By washing hands throughout the day, people can help reduce the risk of getting sick or spreading germs around the office, home, hospitals, or schools.

More than 80 percent of infections are spread by someone touching a contaminated surface, sneezing, or coughing, according to WebMD.

Avoid Food Poisoning

One of the main reasons food poisoning happens is from contamination either from dirty hands or coughing or sneezing to foods that are ready to eat. Once a food is contaminated, high levels of toxin can cause food poisoning symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Hospitalization

This year, the flu season has become one of the deadliest, killing at least 39 children and 90 adults in the United States from influenza symptoms.

In addition, about 20 million people in the United States suffer from Norovirus each year, a group of viruses that can cause inflammation in the stomach or intestines related to not washing hands, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Symptoms can cause fever, headache, body aches, nausea, cramping, diarrhea, or vomiting. The illness, also known as Gastroenteritis, has caused up to 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths in the United States.

Salmonella Or E.coli

Poop from humans or animals can cause germs, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and the norovirus.

"These kinds of germs can get onto hands after people use the toilet or change a diaper, but also in less obvious ways, like after handling raw meats that have invisible amounts of animal poop on them. A single gram of human feces — which is about the weight of a paper clip — can contain one trillion germs," according to CDC.

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