Why should I wash my hands?

It's astonishing when you think about the number of objects you touch in one day. All the shared doorknobs, money, and handrails on the subway, just to name a few, can be teeming with germs that cause anything from a simple cold to a serious flu. Since germs such as bacteria and viruses can live for quite a while on all of these inanimate objects, it's important to wash your hands often. Clean running water and soap are preferred since not all bacteria and viruses can be killed by antiseptic hand washes. But if clean running water isn't available, use the alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.