For 76% of Romanians, hand washing is the best method of preventing infections with viruses and bacteria. The result is highlighted by Hygiene barometer*, a study conducted by Dettol, the range of biocidal antibacterial products (disinfectants) recommended by the Romanian Society of Pediatrics. The study aimed to identify the main habits of daily hygiene and methods of protection against infection with various microbes.
Handwashing is followed as the method of preventing infections from ventilating the rooms (67%). Also, within families with children, effective methods of fighting disease and spreading bacteria are changing towels as often as possible (58%) and fruit consumption (57%).
What is the reason why you wash your hands?
74% of Romanians stated that they wash their hands "to avoid illness", 26% do so to feel cleaner, and 11% to have a clean look on their hands.
"A large number of infectious diseases can be prevented through good hygiene and education practices. Hands are one of the most important causes of cross contamination and the spread of influenza infection. Unfortunately, only 53% of Romanians wash their hands after sneezing or coughing, which favors contamination with the influenza virus. By the simple gesture of washing our hands at the right time, using antibacterial products, we win the fight with microbes. Handwashing is the first line of defense of our health, "he said Professor Doctor Marin Burlea, president of the Romanian Society of Pediatrics.
Only 53% of Romanians wash their hands after sneezing or coughing, which favors contamination with the influenza virus. Influenza is transmitted by inhaling the expectorated drops from the respiratory tract of an infected person when talking, coughing or sneezing. It can also be transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces (a used handkerchief or door lock) or human hands, followed by touching the nose or eyes.
A person infected with the influenza virus can infect other people one day before the onset of symptoms and up to five days after their onset. Thus, a person can transmit the disease even before they realize that they are infected with the influenza virus.
Asked what products they use to clean their hands, 59% of Romanians say they use wet towels, followed by the usual soap (liquid or solid).
On the other hand, 21% of Romanians consider influenza vaccination and wearing a protective mask as the main preventive measures in case of an influenza epidemic.
Mature women and mothers are the most responsible group in terms of personal hygiene and home. Thus, they wash their hands after most of the actions they undertake:
• After using the public toilet - 98%;
• Before eating - 97%;
• After using the personal toilet - 96%;
• After reaching an animal - 92%;
• When they get home and after using a public transportation system to protect their children from external sources of contamination with bacteria - 89%.
64% of Romanians use the Internet to inform about prevention methods. The family doctor, the source with the highest degree of trust among the Romanians (80%), was mentioned by 42% of the respondents as a source of information regarding the prevention methods against infections with viruses and bacteria.
42% of respondents turn to friends and family to find out more about prevention methods and risks of bacterial contamination.
* Note: The study was conducted by the company eResearch Corp, on a representative sample at the urban level of 1100 respondents, women and men, between the ages of 18 and 45 years.
How do microbes spread?
• Direct contact - through close physical contact with an infected person;
• Indirect contact - by touching a surface that has been contaminated with microbes from raw foods or by a sick person, then touching the mouth, nose or eyes;
• By air - by inhaling microbes from the cough or sneezing of other people;
• Consumption of contaminated food or water;
• Some microbes spread by contact with animals or by bites or scratches.
How and where do microbes survive?
Microbes thrive in humid conditions. In some situations, microbes can live on surfaces for hours - and even days. For example, influenza pathogens can survive on surfaces for up to 2 days.
An important thing to note is that although the surfaces may look clean, they can carry many harmful microbes. You must clean and disinfect surfaces to reduce the number of microbes on them.
Viruses are microbes that are difficult to control
Viruses are different from bacteria and fungi, they need a host to infect to reproduce. This is the process by which viruses produce diseases.
In some cases, a single virus particle may be sufficient to make you sick. This is why frequent hand washing and surface disinfection are important measures to combat the spread of diseases - especially those caused by viruses.
Prevention of infections by hand washing
Washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of microbes. Whenever you touch a contaminated surface, you can transfer microbes to and from the hands, but proper and thorough washing of the hands helps remove the microbes from them.
When should we wash?
• Before putting your hand on food or eating;
• Before preparing baby food or before handling sterilized equipment;
• Before applying contact lenses;
• Immediately after handling raw foods, such as chicken;
• After you have been to the toilet or after changing a diaper;
• After touching the animals or their toys or equipment;
• After contact with blood or body fluids (such as vomiting, nasal secretions, saliva);
• After reaching a contaminated area (eg cleaning cloths, spills, soil);
• Before and after dressing a wound, administering drugs or applying a medical device (eg catheter);
• More often when someone in the house is sick;
• Whenever the hands appear dirty.
How to wash us?
• Wet your hands with warm water and apply a small amount of soap.
• Rub your palms vigorously (away from the water) to foam.
• Rub each part of the hands, including under and around the nails.
• Continue for 20 seconds. This takes so long for the soap and rubbing action to detach and remove the microbes. (Do you need a stopwatch? Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" all this time - twice.)
• Rinse hands thoroughly under running clean water.
• Dry your hands thoroughly using a clean dry towel.
You can keep your hands clean even if you do not have water. Hand disinfectants are designed to destroy germs on hands that are not visibly dirty, without the need for water or towels.
Good hygiene is especially important if you or someone in the house is in a risk group. This may include infants and young children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with chronic illness and those whose immune system is weak (eg due to HIV / AIDS or cancer treatment). These people are less able to fight infections.
It should be emphasized that families with children going to school are twice as likely to be exposed to viruses because of the easy way of transmitting from one child to another and from child to parent or other family member.
Dettol Health Mission
The innovation it brings Dettol No Touch on the Romanian market is the automatic dispenser with sensor for liquid disinfectant soap, the first automatic system of hand washing without touch.
Dettol liquid soap destroys 99.9% of bacteria including gram positive and gram negative bacteria such as Enterococcus hirae, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphilococcus aureus, over which the usual antibacterial soap has no action.
• Brochure informing mothers in maternity care;
• Educational materials in the waiting rooms of the medical offices;
• Communication on the Internet through www.dettol.com.ro and the Facebook page Dettol Romania;
• Partnership in social campaigns with Save the Children;
• Partnership in the "Save the Christmas" campaign initiated by Thought and PRO TV.