Hand Washing Can Help Prevent Illness

ORLANDO – During and after Hurricane Idalia, it is important to wash your hands often to help prevent the spread of diseases that can cause illness. Germs are spread when people forget to wash their hands or don’t wash their hands completely.

Always wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled and cooled or disinfected before eating, after toilet use, after helping in cleanup activities, and after handling items contaminated by floodwater or sewage.

When Should You Wash Your Hands?

  • After you: Use the bathroom or change a diaper, handle uncooked food, play with a pet, handle garbage, tend to someone who is sick or injured, blow your nose, cough or sneeze, help in flood cleanup activities and handle items that have been touched with flood water or sewage.
  • Before you: Prepare or eat food, treat a cut or wound, insert or remove contact lenses.

How Should You Wash Your Hands?

  • Use soap and warm running water. If you are in a flooded area or under a boil water notice, the water needs to be boiled or disinfected.
  • Wash each area thoroughly, including wrists, palms, back of hands, fingers and under fingernails.
  • Rub hands together for at least 20 seconds and then rinse.
  • Dry with a clean and/or disposable towel.
  • Use the towel to turn off the water faucet.

If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used.

For more information, please contact your county health department or visit www.floridahealth.gov or www.floridadisaster.org.