Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important ways you can avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many illnesses often happen due to unwashed or improperly washed hands. Many diarrheal illnesses (such as salmonellosis, hepatitis A, and shigellosis) can be spread from person to person by individuals who fail to wash their hands after using the toilet and then pass the bacteria or virus by handling food, shaking hands, or touching other objects. Many respiratory illnesses (such as influenza, RSV, and pneumonia) can be spread if the bacteria or virus gets into another person’s mouth and is swallowed, that person then becomes sick. Proper hand washing is everyone’s responsibility.
Page last updated: September 16, 2016
Page last reviewed: September 16, 2016