Not all hand drying is created equal in illness prevention

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Michelle Haviland brought her son Robbie to Huguenot Park for some time on the playground. After their fun, they took a break for a lesson in health at the park’s restroom.

“It’s important to wash your hands to get rid of the germs so that you don’t get sick,” she shared the message she works to instill.

Rosie Lozano, the Director of Infection Prevention at Chippenham and Johnston-Willis Hospitals, says hand washing is the key to overall well-being.

“Kind of a basic practice, but it is still the number one way to prevent any infectious disease,” she explains.

A new study found proper drying is a part of the process too.

It looked at how effective jet air dryers, warm air dryers and paper towels are at stopping the spread of viruses.

Researchers found jet air dryers dispersed 20 times more than warm air dryers and a whopping 190 times more than paper towels.

“Any germs that are still left on your hands after washing them can be spread around and blown around in the air,” Lozano explains.

It is the dirty truth about drying that people of all ages, like the Havilands, can keep in mind when they wash to keep illnesses at bay.

“It’s an easy step to take to help promote the healthiness of not only yourself but those around you,” Lozano stresses the importance of proper hand washing.

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