Category: Diseases

Calcalist Tech: This Startup Wants to Fight Coronavirus With Soap and Water

Soapy Care develops smart sinks that incorporate computer vision analytics and IoT technologies to help people wash their hands more efficiently

As fears surrounding the coronavirus continue to grow and the number of people forced into home-quarantine rises, Israeli startup Soapy Care Ltd. is aiming to halt the spread of the virus by helping people wash their hands more efficiently.

Founded in 2018 and based in Rehovot in central Israel, smart hygiene startup Soapy Care develops smart sinks that incorporate computer vision analytics and Internet of things (IoT) technologies, Max Simonovsky, the company’s co-founder and CEO said in a Monday interview with Calcalist.

The smart sinks are autonomous and replace traditional sinks, Simonovsky said. Soapy Care’s sinks can be programmed with different settings, including the amount of time the water runs or the precise amount of soap or sanitizer dispensed, in accordance with where the smart sinks are situated, be it at restaurants, hospitals, retirement homes, daycares, or in private homes, Simonovsky said.

While the company suggests using specific types of soaps for better results, their sinks can be used with any standard soap, he said.

The idea for the smart sinks arose a few years ago when Simonovsky’s son, who was two years old at the time, told him he does not think handwashing is important given that some of the sinks at his daycare do not work properly.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, the company has dropped its prices for customers in hard-hit areas, such as China and South Korea, to help halt the spread of the virus, he said. The outbreak has led to a mass increase in the demand for Soapy Care’s smart sinks, Simonovsky added.

Soapy Care’s technology can be found at restaurants, factories, and daycares in countries including Israel, the U.S., Angola, and India, he said. The company has raised more than $1 million to date and employs a team of 22 people.

Source: Calcalist Tech

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Washing and killing tough viruses

21-century the new Pandemic Age

As many biology scientists will say, humanity is just a step, a second, a blink in the microbiology history book. These days the world is looking for something that can give a solution, a fightback the new Coronavirus – the COVID19. However, it is nothing new in the last decade. We saw new Influenza viruses, MERS, MRSA, SARS, EBOLA, Noroviruses, superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics. Furthermore, even alcohol-based sanitizers are not helping.

As it looks today, It will take at least 12-18 months to find and make commercially available a proper vaccine.

However, meanwhile, we should use all of the tools that are available to live through that time. According to the CDC, the best way is to practice good hands washing hygiene.

The main question that we should ask ourselves if we have the knowledge and the technology to fight Coronavirus through prevention by hand wash? Back in December, before the Covid19 became a world problem, our R&D team used another virus as a model in our battle. This TMV virus considered to be one of the most problematic viruses that are known to science. It can survive the heat of 93 Celcius degrees (199 Fahrenheit). We were looking to find the best combination of a life science and 21st-century high-tech. Our result shows the right level of confidence that there is a simple way to fight viruses that are much stronger and resistant than the Coronavirus.

A glance into The Science

The scientific experiment that took back in December 2019 was supported by Dr. Aviv Dombrovsky, a virology and virus transfer expert from the Hebrew University. The experiment was conducted with TMV that is considered to be one of the most resistant viruses known to science. Since November 2019, the EU Commission has established emergency measures to prevent the introduction into and the spread within the EU territory even though it is not affecting humans like the Covid19.

Source: BioMed Central Virology Jurnal (2015) – Evaluation of disinfectants to prevent mechanical transmission of viruses and a viroid – Effectiveness of disinfectant solutions to deactivate pathogen infectivity.

We used this virus as a model for developing a proper hand wash process that increases reagent effectiveness through Computer Vision and the Internet of Things analytics supported methodology. TMV is transmitted by contact as also many viruses, including the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) does.

The specific TMV that we have used is spreading fast across the globe because of human-assisted spread mechanisms. 

The experiment

Our study was performed at Volcani center, with the help of Dr. Aviv Dumbrovsky, Aviv is leading Pathology Researcher with expertise in virus transmission. The experiment was conducted in a few phases. In each phase, three transmission agents were involved. 

Phase 1  – Touching infected sample, followed by touching twelve sterile media for virus growth – without using any sanitation tools.

The results: 6 out of 12 media appeared to be infected (50% percent infection).

Phase 2  – Touching infected sample, followed by the hands washing with no soap added and touching twelve sterile media for virus growth

The results: 4 out of 12 media appeared to be infected (33.33 % percent infected).

Phase 3  – Touching infected sample, followed by the hands washing with a plain soap added and touching thirty-six (36) sterile media for virus growth.

The results: 10 out of 36 media appeared to be infected (27.77 % percent infected).

Phase 4 – Touching infected sample, followed by the hands washing with a 2 special formulation soap added and touching thirty-six (36) sterile media (each formulation) for virus growth.

The results: 0 out of 36 and 0 out of 36 media appeared to be infected (0 % percent infected). Special soap washed and killed the virus with 100% efficacy.

Results

Soapy system combined with Special Anti Viral Soap results. Samples: Rub (control group-12 samples); Water Only (reference control 12 samples); Plain Soap (36 test samples); D Soap (36 test samples); S Soap (36 test samples).

Conclusions

TMV is transmitted by contact as also Coronavirus does. It is very hard to stop it from infecting others in line and to identify the disease in its early stage, the same as with the Covid19. Our result proves that a combination of the right reagent with a controlled and user-supportive hand hygiene stations can efficiently fight with even the toughest viruses. “The TMV is much more resistant than most of the know viruses to science. Much more resistant to disinfection agents than the Influenza virus, Norovirus or the new Coranovirus (COVID19), this is why this new technology is a game-changer”.
The Coronavirus transmission mechanics show similar behavior. While the development of the vaccine will take time, it is our responsibility to use all working methods to stop the spread of this new disease.

“The most simple way to avoid infection today is through hands washing with soap and the right hygiene policy”

CDC
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CNN – The best prevention against the coronavirus is still washing your hands

(CNN)When it comes to novel coronavirus protection, face masks are futile. There isn’t a vaccine yet. So the best way to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus is washing your hands — thoroughly — with soap and water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And yes, there’s a right way to wash your hands. It’s something of an art form — a timed, multistep process that can involve some light singing.
Here’s the CDC’s official hand-washing how-to. All you need to follow along is a sink and soap.
Step 1
Wet your hands with clean, running water. Then, turn off the tap and soap up your hands. Soap is more effective at removing germs than water alone.
Step 2
Work the soap into a lather by rubbing your hands together. Lather soap onto the backs of your hands, in between your fingers and under your nails. Lathering causes friction, which strips pesky germs and dirt from the skin. Be sure to get into the nooks and crannies, too — germs lurk there.
Source CNN
Step 3
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Sing or hum “Happy Birthday” twice through to keep time. There’s no magic number, but washing your hands for at least 20 seconds has been shown to remove more microbes than washing for shorter periods does. Singing “Happy Birthday” is just a fun way to make sure you’re scrubbing long enough.
Step 4
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water. You’ve lifted the germs from your hands. Clean water flushes them off.
Step 5
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air-dry them (or a bit of both). Wet hands easily transfer viruses. Drying them off lessens that risk.
Original publication: link
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BLOOMBERG: How to Avoid Coronavirus on Flights | Forget Masks, Says Top Airline Doctor

Forget face masks and rubber gloves.

The best way to avoid the coronavirus is frequent hand washing, according to a medical adviser to the world’s airlines.

The virus can’t survive long on seats or armrests, so physical contact with another person carries the greatest risk of infection on a flight, said David Powell, a physician and medical adviser to the International Air Transport Association. Masks and gloves do a better job of spreading bugs than stopping them, he said.    

As concern mounts about the scale of the outbreak, carriers from United Airlines Holdings Inc. to Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. have scrapped thousands of flights to China. Here is an edited transcript from an interview with Powell. IATA represents about 290 airlines and more than 80% of global air traffic.

Q: Is there a risk of becoming contaminated with the virus on a plane?

A: The risk of catching a serious viral infection on an aircraft is low. The air supply to a modern airliner is very different from a movie theater or an office building. The air is a combination of fresh air and recirculated air, about half each. The recirculated air goes through filters of the exact same type that we use in surgical operating theaters. That supplied air is guaranteed to be 99.97% (or better) free of viruses and other particles. So the risk, if there is one, does not come from the supplied air. It comes from other people.  

Q: What are the chances of getting the virus by touching the seats, armrest or any of the objects on a plane?

A: Viruses and other microbes like to live on living surfaces like us. Just shaking hands with somebody will be a greater risk by far than some dry surface that has no biological material on it. The survival of viruses on surfaces isn’t great, so it’s believed that normal cleaning, and then the extra cleaning in the event that someone was discovered to be contagious, is the appropriate procedure. Will people stop getting together inside an airplane? I would respond by asking: Will I stop going to the movies, or sports games, or concerts or conferences? I don’t think so.

Q: What’s important if you are on a plane to ensure you don’t get infected?

A: Hand hygiene — because contrary to what people think, the hands are the way that these viruses most efficiently spread. Top of the list is frequent hand washing, hand sanitizing, or both. Avoid touching your face. If you cough or sneeze, it’s important to cover your face with a sleeve. Better yet, a tissue to be disposed of carefully, and then sanitizing the hands afterward. Washing your hands and drying them is the best procedure. When that’s not easy to do, alcohol-based sanitizer is a good second-best.  

Q: Does wearing masks and gloves help prevent infections?

A: First of all, masks. There’s very limited evidence of benefit, if any, in a casual situation. Masks are useful for those who are unwell to protect other people from them. But wearing a mask all the time will be ineffective. It will allow viruses to be transmitted around it, through it and worse still, if it becomes moist it will encourage the growth of viruses and bacteria. Gloves are probably even worse, because people put on gloves and then touch everything they would have touched with their hands. So it just becomes another way of transferring micro-organisms. And inside the gloves, your hands get hot and sweaty, which is a really good environment for microbes to grow.  

Q: Is shutting borders the answer to containing the spread of the virus?  

A: One thing that’s changed in the world is the ability for infections to travel rapidly from one location to another and it’s true that aviation is part of that. At the same time, aviation is essential to dealing with outbreaks like this. And this is why we have collaboration with the World Health Organization and IATA that’s been in place for several years. If countries just shut down during disease outbreaks, as happened in west Africa with Ebola, that can make things much worse. During that outbreak, the country struggled, WHO couldn’t get their people in, they couldn’t get biological samples out. The economic impact of being shut off made things worse. General travel bans can make things worse. It can encourage people to travel in secret, which means you lose control of it.  

Q: When can we safely say that the worst may be over?  

A: The number of cases has continued to increase at around about 16% to 20% each day. Until we get to the point where those numbers are declining, we couldn’t say we turned the corner.   (Adds to the second answer the notion that behavior in public spaces is unlikely to be curbed. A previous version of this story corrected the spelling of the doctor’s name.)  

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Coronavirus – what we know about it and how we can protect ourselves from getting ill?

According to the World Health Organisation Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
According to the World Health Organisation Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
According to the World Health Organisation Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic types of viruses, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Snakes – the Chinese krait and the Chinese cobra – might be the original source of the newly discovered coronavirus that has triggered an outbreak of a deadly infectious respiratory illness in China this year.
How does the infection pass from one to another?
The virus is transmitted both by airborne droplets and by contact: for example, through the touch of dirty hands to the eyes.
Know the Symptoms
The first signs of infection are dry cough, difficulty breathing, fever, and weakness. In some cases, the disease goes away without pneumonia but is accompanied by a dry cough and a low temperature. In more severe cases, the infection can evolve into pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. The incubation period of coronavirus lasts from 2 to 12 days.
Prevention
Be aware of washing hands and talking less with other people at close range.
Assure to cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. It is emphasized that mild symptoms do not mean that a person cannot infect others.
Is it really helpful to wear a respiratory protection mask?
It is recommended to wear masks and assure that you are not touching your nose under it, especially when you shacked hands with somebody before. It is important to change your mask every new day or when you feel it is not clean enough.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that Asia is now celebrating the New Year, which means that many Chinese go to visit relatives.

The virus has spread to a number of Asian countries and has spread to France, USA, Canada and more. See the map below:
#coronavirusoutbreak #coronarovirus #nCoV #outbreak #virus #handswashing #handshygiene
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Jersusalem Shawarma facing backlash after suspected norovirus outbreak at Calgary restaurants

A family-owned chain of Calgary shawarma restaurants is facing backlash after Alberta Health Services revealed a suspected norovirus outbreak linked to their restaurants.
According to AHS, nearly 130 people have registered complaints that they fell ill after eating food from Jerusalem Shawarma.
AHS said Thursday it received its first complaint about Jerusalem Shawarma on Dec. 6.
More complaints were later made by 17 different groups who said they ate food from multiple Jerusalem Shawarma locations from Dec. 4 to 12.
“Please don’t judge us,” Jerusalem Shawarma co-owner Izzo AbuFarha said. “It was just an isolated [incident] in one of our locations, it didn’t happen all over the place.”
AbuFarha and his five brothers own the 10-restaurant chain, which opened in 2013.
He said they’ve has complied with AHS health inspectors, who recommended the restaurant wash common surfaces and the washrooms every 30 minutes.
AHS said they are currently investigating each complaint to verify the claims, with many coming from groups that fell ill after eating catered lunches.
All of the chain’s locations were inspected by AHS, but none of the restaurants were ordered to close.
“Anything that was of concern, like the ready-to-eat food products, have all been discarded — those things have been started from scratch again. There’s been full disinfections at each of the locations, so we’ve ensured that public safety is number one,” AHS Calgary Zone safe food program manager Sarah Nunn said.
“If there was any serious concerns, then absolutely those locations would’ve been closed.”
Following the news of the AHS investigation, AbuFarha said the restaurant has seen a steep decline in business, including multiple cancellations of catering orders.
He said the restaurant has also received racist comments. “This is something we’ve been getting on a daily basis, lots of bad comments, lots of messages, lots of threatening, lots of phone calls to our staff, to our employees,” AbuFarha said.
Faizan Butt, the lawyer representing Jerusalem Shawarma, said the investigation has been blown out of proportion.
According to AHS, the virus is common around this time of year and is extremely contagious. Symptoms of norovirus include severe stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea, and can last anywhere from 24 to 60 hours, AHS said.
The best way to prevent infection is to wash your hands often and wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.
“The biggest thing is it’s out there in the community, and it’s about prevention,” Nunn said. “It’s about making sure that we don’t pass this on to anybody else.”
Nunn said AHS takes every complaint seriously and recommends anybody with concerns to contact AHS or 811 with health questions.​
AbuFarha said his employees are taking AHS’ advice seriously, all in an effort to go on with business as usual.
“We’re seeking the support of our community, we’re seeking the support of Calgarians in making this business get back to normal,” he said.
With files from Global News’ Kaylen Small
Original article: LINK
#Outbreak #Norovirus #Food #AHS #JerusalemShawarma #Canada #Calgary
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A norovirus outbreak shut down an entire Colorado school district right before Thanksgiving

A Colorado school district has closed more than 40 schools after a highly contagious virus outbreak.
It’s the first time the Mesa County Valley School District 51 has had to close all schools due to illness, the district said Wednesday.
“We are taking this highly unusual action because this virus is extremely contagious and spreading quickly across our schools,”
Nursing Coordinator Tanya Marvin said in the statement.
More than a dozen schools in the state’s 14th largest district reported increased absences “due to illness and several incidences of vomiting in public areas of the schools,” according to the Mesa County Public Health Department.
A second, related virus has also been affecting students in recent weeks, the district said.
“The combination of the two has created an unprecedented spread of illness.”
“Onset of symptoms for both types of viruses, including vomiting, is incredibly fast. The second version also causes fever in several cases,” the district statement said.
The health department says it is working to identify the illness, which is “acting a lot like norovirus” and lasts between 12-24 hours.
Norovirus, sometimes called the “stomach bug,” is easily spread through direct contact, consuming contaminated food or water, or touching contaminated surfaces and then putting your hands in your mouth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The very young, older people, and those with other illnesses are most vulnerable to severe dehydration.
The closure includes all after-school activities, the district said, and schools will remained closed until after Thanksgiving break.
Mesa County Valley School District 51 is the largest school district between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Denver, Colorado, the district website says. It serves more than 22,000 students in 46 schools and programs, employing nearly 3,000 employees.
Tips on how to avoid the illness include thoroughly washing hands and staying away from people who are sick.
“When you have norovirus, the very dramatic symptom people have is often violent vomiting that hits you pretty suddenly,” said Amesh Adalja, MD, a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America and a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security in Baltimore, Maryland.
“You have nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and it usually lasts 24 to 48 hours,” he told Healthline. “It can be a pretty grueling 24 to 48 hours.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source reports the virus sickens millions of people each year. The very young, older people, and those with other illnesses are most vulnerable to severe dehydration.
Each year, as many as 71,000 people are hospitalized. Between 500 and 800 die.
Picture: Getty
“What’s very striking about norovirus is that it’s very highly infectious. And if you’re exposed to it, there’s a very high likelihood you could be infected by it, even if you’re in good health,” Adalja said.
Easy to get, hard to shakeExperts say that when someone is sick with norovirus, they have large amounts of the virus in them, although it only takes a little to make you sick.
“We know that people who have the virus shed it in very large numbers in their fecal material. We’re talking millions to billions of virus particles in a gram,” said Lee-Ann Jaykus, PhD, a professor in the department of food, bioprocessing, and nutrition sciences at North Carolina State University.
“It probably doesn’t take more than 100 particles to make you sick,” she told Healthline.
Jaykus says scientists know the virus is passed from person to person. That happens when an infected person doesn’t wash their hands after using the bathroom.
The surfaces they touch can become contaminated. If the infected person is a food handler, they can pass the virus onto your food.
They also know that when an infected person vomits, that surface will be contaminated.
But more recently, researchers learned that norovirus may also be transmitted in the air from the repeated vomiting.
“A lot of times this is what we call projectile vomiting, very forceful and severe, literally across the room,” Jaykus explained. “Some of that vomitus gets aerosolized, and it has norovirus in it.”
To study how this happens, Jaykus and a team of researchers actually built a vomiting machine to test how norovirus spreads. The machine simulated human vomiting.
The team used a surrogate virus, which wouldn’t make anybody sick. Then they measured the airborne virus particles.
The scientists publishedTrusted Source the findings of their study in the PLOS One journal in 2015.
“You can detect it. The numbers are not as high as in fecal material, but it’s there,” Jaykus added. “What happens is some of the virus gets aerosolized, people breathe it in. It hits the mucous membranes, goes into the stomach, and the infection process starts.”
And once it starts spreading through a community, the virus is hard to get rid of.
“This particular virus is extraordinarily resistant to the sanitizers and disinfectants that we commonly use at regulated concentrations and contact times,” Jaykus said.
“It’s also incredibly persistent. If I were to put norovirus on a surface in front of me right now, it would probably remain capable of causing infection for a month, maybe more,” she added.
What you can doJaykus notes there’s no norovirus vaccine yet, although some are being developed.
“The real way to protect yourself is to wash your hands a lot. If you see somebody vomiting, go the other way. And if you’re on a cruise ship, tell somebody,” she said.
The CDC Trusted Source has put together some tips to help you keep norovirus from spreading:
1) Practice good handwashing for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer alone won’t do.
2) Wash your fruits and vegetables. Cook seafood thoroughly.If you’re sick, don’t cook or care for others for at least 2 to 3 days after you recover.
3) Clean contaminated surfaces first, then disinfect them. Use a chlorine bleach solution with a concentration of 1,000 to 5,000 ppm (5 to 25 tablespoons of household bleach [5.25 percent] per gallon of water) or other disinfectant registered as effective against norovirus by the Environmental Protection Agency.
4) Wash your laundry thoroughly.
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CDC – Food workers washed their hands in only 27% of activities in which they should have.

New research of the CDC reveals that food workers washed their hands in only 27% of the activities in which they should have.
Based on the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommendations when workers need to wash hands
  • Eating,
  • Drinking,
  • Using tobacco,
  • Coughing,
  • Sneezing,
  • Using tissue,
  • Preparing raw animal products,
  • Handling dirty equipment, and
  • Touching the body (such as scratching your nose).
CDC found that overall, workers engaged in about 9 activities an hour that should have involved handwashing with water and soap. Unfortunately, in most of the cases, they did not:
Other interesting find was that, workers were more likely to wash their hands at the right time when they were not wearing gloves than when they were.
The research was conducted by the Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net). EHS-Net is a federally funded collaboration of federal, state, and local environmental health specialists and epidemiologists.
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Hand hygiene decreases school absenteeism

Photo for representation only.
Hand hygiene helps to reduce school absenteeism rates due to illnesses by almost 40% of studies suggest, said a senior healthcare professional.
While many factors contribute to school absenteeism, student illness is believed to be the main driver of student absenteeism.
The transmission of infections within schools can result in infections making students too sick to attend classes, said Dr Mohammed Rahmathulla Shafeeq, Assistant Executive Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Hamad Medical Corporation.
He urged parents and teachers to place special focus on handwashing.
“Proper and regular handwashing is essential for children as it ensures hygiene and averts infection,” said Dr Shafeeq.
“Keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If soap and water are unavailable, use hand sanitiser,” he said.
Diseases such as flu, common cold, vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach flu are common diseases that can be positively impacted by more frequent hand hygiene and routine cleaning and disinfection of commonly touched surfaces.
“Proper and regular handwashing at school and outside keeps children free of infection. And schools should have proper facilities that help students easily wash their hands and maintain proper hygiene,” said Dr Shafeeq.
“Sinks should be placed in a place that is quite accessible for all students. And we recommend liquid soaps as soap bars cause infection to be transmitted from an infected child to others while it is used for handwashing,” he added.
Dr Shafeeq also said that tissue papers should be made available and children should be asked to make use of them after washing hands.
“Possibility of infection is high if the hands remain wet,” he said.
Dr Shafeeq also urged the school authorities to ensure that enough break time is available for all.
“Inadequacy of time can create inconvenience for students and this should be addressed. And all students should be given bathroom break if they demand it during class time,” he said.
He asked parents to teach their children personal hygiene and ensure hygiene is properly maintained in order to ensure that their children are free of infection.
“Children should be asked to take regular baths and brushing of teeth. And they should be sent to school with cleaned washed clothes,” he said.
Dr Shafeeq urged school authorities to regularly clean and maintain water cooler dispensers and air conditioning units in order to ensure they don’t transmit anything harmful.
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Office Germs getting more dangerous

For the full textfollow the link on “back off bacteria” blog
#Office #Superbugs #Bacteria #Antibioticresistance #Handwash #Toilet #workplace #healthsafety #productivity #publichealth
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The Guardian: How to wash your hands properly

The bad bacteria we pick up on our fingertips can lead to infection, but we often miss them when washing. An expert from the Royal College of Nursing advises on how to maintain good hygiene
Working up a lather. Photograph: Flashpop/Getty Images
Two types of bacteria live on our hands: resident bacteria, which are rarely implicated in infection and are good for the skin, and transient bacteria, which we pick up on our fingertips when we touch surfaces. The latter are the ones we want to remove.
You should wash your hands after going to the toilet, or changing a sanitary towel or tampon; after changing a nappy; before preparing food, after handling raw meat; and before eating. It is easy to pick up bacteria and viruses when travelling on public transport, so wash your hands afterwards.
You need soap and, ideally, running water, but a bowl of water will do. Wet hands thoroughly and apply liquid or bar soap – if you apply soap to dry hands, it can act as an irritant and you don’t get coverage all over your hands. Rub your palms together, then interlink your fingers and rub them together. Next, place the fingertips of one hand in the palm of the other and rub, and vice versa. Rubbing the hands together creates friction, which removes the bacteria and creates a lather. Within that lather is the bacteria you have removed, ready to be washed away. Once you have worked up a good lather and rubbed all the surfaces together, rinse your hands and dry thoroughly, not forgetting in between the fingers. If you are out and using a paper towel, don’t lift the lid of the wastebin with your clean fingers. At home, change hand towels twice a week, or more often if someone has an infection such as norovirus.
Rose Gallagher is the professional lead for infection prevention and control at the Royal College of Nursing. She was talking to Emine Saner.
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Adoption of the WASH in Health Care Facilities Resolution at the 72nd World Health Assembly

At the 72nd World Health Assembly, agenda item 12.5 (Patient Safety) had a focus on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in health care facilities. The Global Hand washing Partnership, along with over 170 signers, signed on to a Civil Society Organization letter.The WHO Member States have now adopted the resolution to improve safe WASH services in health facilities around the world for safer patient care. The resolution asks Member States to develop national roadmaps, establish and implement standards, and invest in systems to support sustainable WASH services.It also requests that the WHO provide leadership, mobilize resources for investment, report on global progress, and in emergencies, help coordinate and implement WASH and infection prevention and control in healthcare
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