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What you don't see......

What you see in the picture is a hand and a napkin. What you don't see are the  millions of microscopic germs.

Hand hygiene has been one of the important factors for spreading germs and filth from one person to another. Every time we touch a public surface, our fingers pick up some dirt and germs or leave some on an object. 

Washing hands is by far the best way to maintain hand or finger hygiene. But this can only be occasional and is often not possible. Hence hand sanitizers became popular over the last few years to fill this gap. However, they still do not prevent direct touch and they are chemical in nature.Their effect depends on the right percentage of alcohol or the hand sanitizer will be ineffective. 

Gloves on the other hand, offer a complete cover for the hands. Unlike water and sanitizers, they prevent direct contact of fingers with the object. But use of gloves is mostly for special purposes rather than daily hygiene, possibly because it is complicated to put them on and also it may be unnecessary to cover the entire hand. 

We also occasionally see use of pens, metallic or plastic objects to touch elevator buttons or touch screens. These however, may scratch or damage the objects. They are limited a few objects and are not suited to open door knobs or type on keyboards. 

A barrier between the fingers and objects to minimize direct contact addresses some of the limitations posed by the above approaches. The barrier simply covers the regions of finger that touch the object. Hygidots and Hygicards are such barriers that came into existence recently. They are easy to wear and dispose. They minimize direct touch of fingers with dirt and germs on objects. 

Using all or many of the above methods, one can practice adequate hand hygiene in their daily lives. 

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