WASHING HANDS FIVE TIMES A DAY RECOMMENDED BY U.S. HEALTH CENTER


American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Volume 21, Issue 2 (August 2001), pp. 79-83

Margaret A. K. Ryan, Rebecca S. Christian, Julie

Wohlrabe

Edited and abridged by the Canadian Islamic Congress

(www.cicnow.com)



US Navy recruits who were ordered to wash their hands

at least five

times a day saw a decrease in respiratory illnesses of

45% from the 

year

before, according to a study conducted by the Naval

Health Research

Center (NHRC).



Respiratory illness is a common cause of lost time

from work in the US

and "the most common cause of lost time from duty

among young adults in

the military," the report indicates.



In the study, Operation Stop Cough was implemented at

the Great Lakes

Recruit Training Command in Illinois, beginning in

September 1996.



During the study, about 40,000 recruits were

instructed by their

commanding officer to wash their hands five times each

day. Soap

dispensers were installed and recruits were lectured

monthly on the

importance of handwashing.



Despite the program's success, almost half reported

that they did not

have time to wash five times a day due to their busy

training

schedules."



In most offices, people are not inclined to wash their

hands even 

before

eating," Dr. Joel C. Gaydos of the Walter Reed Army

Institute of

Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, writes in an

accompanying

editorial. "Re-emphasizing handwashing in our daily

lives may provide

significant benefits with little effort or cost,

especially during the

respiratory disease season," he notes.



NOTE: For the last 1,400 years, Muslims have been

washing their hands

five times a day prior to performing their prayers.



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