Personal hygiene vital to health this year end

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Singaporeans have been found to be susceptible to seasonal flu, respiratory illness and other illnesses related to cross-contamination during the year-end period

With the year-end festive season approaching, mass gatherings such as parties, concerts, festive shopping sprees and group travelling increase the possibility of disease transmission among Singaporeans.

To better educate the public on preventive measures to protect themselves and their loved ones from falling ill, Dettol recently commissioned a survey to understand the hygiene habits of Singaporeans.

Susceptible to Seasonal Illnesses

According to Dettol’s latest survey of 500 respondents, aged between 20 and 65 years old, it was found that Singaporeans who fall ill during the year-end festive season commonly fall prey to the seasonal flu, respiratory illness or illnesses related to contamination, particularly where they frequent mass gathering occasions.

Of those that fall ill, 70 per cent are most likely to catch the seasonal flu and 68 per cent of them have expressed a high tendency to develop respiratory illnesses like the common cold, cough and sore throat. In addition, 42 per cent reportedly suffer from cross-contamination related illnesses.

The survey also highlighted that 50 per cent of the respondents do not realise that these infectious diseases are easily contracted through poor personal hygiene.

The majority attribute the sources of these infectious diseases to be from people who are infected, inconsiderate and unhygienic, and through communal facilities, germ hotspots and high-touch points, for instance, door handles and table surfaces.

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Preventive Measures

Said Abhishek Chuckarbutty, Marketing Director of Reckitt Benckiser (that supports the Global Hygiene Council by an unrestricted educational grant) Malaysia and Singapore, “To reduce the chances of contracting these infectious diseases, it is vital that Singaporeans value and practice basic personal hygiene, such as washing hands with soap and water, or at least apply the hand sanitizer, after using the toilet.”

According to the Global Hygiene Council (GHC), good hygiene practices play a significant role in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. To minimise the chances of contracting or spreading infectious diseases, the council advises members of the public to practice good personal hygiene.

For example, hand-washing with soap and water or the use of a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

From the survey, only 50 per cent were found to wash their hands thoroughly with water and soap before eating and after using the restroom. The lack of personal hygiene gives rise to major health problems such as the spread of infectious diseases.

To improve hygiene levels, 64 per cent of the respondents are supportive of the idea to provide sanitizers in public areas.

About The Global Hygiene Council

The Global Hygiene Council is an initiative bringing together leading global experts in the field of microbiology, virology, infectious diseases, immunology, and public health to formulate realistic and practical recommendations on simple hygiene measures to help the public improve levels of hygiene in the home and community and, in turn, help to prevent the spread of all kinds of infections.

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