As consumers rush around during the holiday, doctors stress the importance of healthy practices, specifically hand hygiene. According to infection control preventionist Toni Roberts, "Hand hygiene can save lives, especially with the flu season that is upon us hand hygiene is so important."

Illnesses that can be spread by touch points include the flu, respiratory elements such as RSV, meningitis and pneumonia. These threats can be transmitted through various surfaces in public restrooms and hand railing, according to reports.

To minimize exposure, it is important for facilities to supply and properly stock soaps and either paper or hand dryers, as well as sanitizers. Signage that encourages proper hand washing is also important. Doctors recommend washing hands for at least 15 seconds to properly remove germs.
Experts agree that hands should be washed with soap and water after using the restroom, before preparing food, when coughing or sneezing or taking care of someone who is ill.

The Oklahoma State Health Department said do not let hands that appear to be clean to fool you, because the germs are still there. In these situations, sanitizer will probably kill harmful germs.

Read this full report here.