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Photos: How You Can Help Protect Yourself & Your Family From Swine Flu (H1N1)

CDC Cites Frequent Hand Washing as Key Precaution

NEW YORK, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- As Swine Flu (H1N1) infections intensify, people around the world are taking proactive steps to protect themselves. While wearing face masks and stocking up on over-the-counter flu medication can help you avoid this disease, The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) is also recommending a simpler measure: frequent, thorough hand washing. With a full 80 percent of infections spread through hand contact, taking the time to properly wash hands can help prevent the spread of Swine Flu (H1N1), as well as other viruses and germs.

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"Handwashing is always important, but particularly after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, using the restroom, eating or preparing food or touching an animal," says Eileen Lantier, RN, PhD and Associate Dean of Human Ecology at Syracuse University. Dr. Lantier also notes viruses can be transferred by shaking hands, social contact and in public places. "To effectively and thoroughly clean hands, pump an antibacterial soap into hands and lather aggressively for at least 20 seconds. After rinsing and drying, use a towel to turn off the faucet and open doors."

To ensure you're killing as much potentially harmful bacteria as possible, follow these five tips for effective hand washing:

  • Wash your hands frequently throughout the day
  • Use an antibacterial liquid soap, such as Dial Complete, the #1 Doctor-Recommended brand, for good hand hygiene
  • Make sure to lather vigorously in order to increase the effectiveness of the soap in reducing dirt, germs and bacteria from your hands
  • Lather and rub hands for at least 20 seconds and make sure to clean under fingernails and between fingers before rinsing with warm water
  • After rinsing soap off hands, dry hands with a paper towel or cloth prior to turning off faucet, then use towel to turn off faucet to prevent recontamination. If washing hands in a public restroom, use a paper towel to open door before discarding in garbage can

Keeping the following tips in mind will further protect you and your family from spreading harmful germs:

  • Remember to exercise proper hygiene. When coughing, use the crook of your elbow, as opposed to your hand, to cover your mouth. You will prevent the spread of germs and protect your hands from microbes.
  • Don't share utensils, glassware, water bottles or food.
  • When blowing your nose, it's best to use a disposable facial cloth instead of a cloth handkerchief. Germs thrive in the dark creases of a bundled handkerchief. Immediately throw the tissue away after use and wash hands thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose, and if you do so, remember to wash your hands before and after to prevent the spread of germs.
  • If you're feeling under the weather, the best thing you can do for yourself, your family and your coworkers is to stay home and rest until you feel better.

For more information on hand washing, please visit

Dial Complete, the #1 Doctor Recommended antibacterial soap, kills 99.99% of germs. Not only does it kill more germs than any other liquid hand wash, but it also reduces the transfer of bacteria by 50% compared to non-antibacterial soap. For more information, please visit

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