CLEVELAND, Ohio – While in the midst of a “tripledemic” between COVID-19, RSV and the flu, it is important for people to remember why they should wash their hands.

“Hand washing is really the heart and soul of keeping yourself and others safe and free from infections during the cold and flu season,” said Donald Ford, MD, chair of family medicine for Cleveland Clinic. “That has been the case for years. So even before there was such a thing as COVID-19, we always encouraged people to wash their hands.”

Hand washing can prevent the spread of germs to other people and surfaces. It has proven especially effective against respiratory illnesses, reducing it in the general population by 16-21%, according to the CDC.

As for the best hand washing technique, Dr. Ford said all you have to do is:

  1. Get your hands wet and then lather with soap.
  2. Scrub for at least 20 seconds. (Don’t forget the nails)
  3. Rinse your hands with warm water and dry them with a clean towel.

Finally, Dr. Ford recommends keeping lotion close by as all the washing can dry out your hands.