Worried about Coronavirus or seasonal influenza? A critical preventative measure is in your own hands. Kara Knutson is an instructor in clinical mircrobiology and immunology at Madison College. “The most important way to prevent the spread of these viruses and bacterial infections is simply washing our hands,” she said. “And not just washing them, but washing them appropriately.”

That means a vigorous scrub with soap and water. “A vigorous, about 20 second rub between the palms, getting the back of the hands, in between the fingers, getting between the nails, under the nails, rubbing the nails into the palms. And then your going to rinse your hands and dry with a clean towel.”

If you’re washing up in a public restroom, experts advise that you can use a paper towel to open the door when you’re done. Knutson said hand sanitizer that’s at least 60 percent alcohol is also effective. The Centers for Disease Control has more on its website. (cdc.gov/handwashing).

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