A concept in which germs are shown on a human hand

Florida has been dealing with a hepatitis A outbreak this year, and public health officials are blaming the spread of the virus on bad handwashing practices, reports the Englewood Sun.

The Florida Health Department has reported more than 3,300 hepatitis A cases statewide since January. The Sarasota County Health Department has discovered that restaurant employees are contracting hepatitis A from homeless patrons, who enter the facilities to eat or use the restroom. When the staff or the homeless people fail to wash their hands, the disease is then spread to others.

A Sarasota County Health Department official says some restaurant cooks or bus people are hired after arriving from other countries where they’ve not been asked to wash their hands and practice good hygiene while working with food. Often, these workers don’t receive proper hygiene training when the begin working at facilities in the United States, which means their old practices are not rectified.

To prevent the spread of the disease, the Sarasota County Health Department recommends people wash their hands and between fingers for more than 20 seconds.

While hepatitis A is an issue in parts of Florida, one Pennsylvania is facing another issue: a mumps outbreak.

Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed eight cases of the mumps at Ridley High School, reports CBS 3 in Philadelphia.

Ridley School District says nearly all of its 1,800 students are vaccinated against the mumps. However, research has shown that nearly a quarter of those who receive the vaccination lose their protection from it after eight years. 

In addition to getting a preventative shot, one way to further protect oneself from the mumps is through handwashing, according to University of Wisconsin Health.

Those who want to better train their employees on proper hand hygiene, but are unsure of how to go about it are in luck. The Centers For Disease Control and Preventions boasts plenty of resources to help spread handwashing awareness and tips on its website.