Handwashing helps control the spread of viruses AND bacteria

The Hygienius mobile hand wash station

They spread in a variety of ways – but both can be kept in check with effective hand hygiene

Confusion regarding the differences between and similarities of bacteria and viruses is commonplace. The latter has perhaps enjoyed a higher profile in recent years due to the pandemic, but although many types of bacteria are inherently benign, many can cause severe health issues in their own right.
The other thing that they have in common is that they can both be controlled with regular and effective soap and water hand washing, according to a recent report on the Health website.

The article by Claire Gillespie quotes Charles C. J. Bailey MD, who is medical director for infection prevention at Providence St. Joseph Hospital and Providence Mission Hospital in California.

Dr Bailey states that “Viruses are tiny organisms made of genetic material called nucleic acid – either DNA or RNA – that is enclosed within a protein capsule.” They take over regular living cells for the purpose of multiplication and continuing to reproduce. The resulting damage to the cells that have been overwhelmed can lead to illness. Viruses cannot replicate on their own he says.

Bacteria on the other hand, are “larger, single-celled organisms”, which can live in a variety of different environments can reproduce. Many bacteria are not only harmless, says the report, but are actually beneficial. Harmful types can replicate very quickly in the human body causing tissue damage, with some even producing “harmful toxins”.

The soap and water hand washing benefits

Both viruses and bacteria spread in a variety of ways. Some can be controlled by treating drinking water or vaccination. But the easiest – and most effective – way to limit their spread is clear to Dr Bailey.

“… personal hygiene is key for protection against both bacteria and viruses. That’s because general protective measures help to prevent many types of infections caused by bacteria (aka, bacterial infections) and viruses (aka, viral infections).”

Soap and water hand washing should always be the hygiene approach of choice he is reported as saying, with sanitisers being deployed only when the former isn’t available.

“The hygiene basics are super effective: Wash your hands often, for 20 seconds, with soap and water.”

The reason it’s so effective is an obvious one, according to the report which says it’s “because viruses and bacteria can live on your hands”.

Viruses vs. Bacteria: What’s the Difference? »

Effective mobile hand washing for everyone – wherever it’s needed!

Teal produces a comprehensive range of mobile sinks and portable basins for every type of hand washing situation for use by anyone who needs to wash their hands effectively, whether they’re in an office environment, temporary accommodation or out in the field on a daily basis.

There are vehicle mounted, wall mounted, mains powered and free standing hand wash stations as well as mobile sinks for use with pre-heated hot water.

The Teal range of mobile sinks includes the MediWashHygienius and Hygienius ProWashBigSynkSuper StalletteTEALwashHandeman XtraCompact ClassicHandSpa, CliniWash – and now the new WashStand Xtra.

The handwash unit shown above is the Teal Hygienius.