Today an estimated 250 million people globally are participating in events to highlight the vital role played by handwashing in preventing infection, particularly diarrhea and pneumonia that still claim the lives of more than two million children under the age of five every year.
The field of medicine has understood the importance of hand washing for almost 200 years. The fact that you need signs, though, suggests that not everyone is washing their hands all the time. What kinds of signs are likely to be most effective?
In the weeks ahead, there will be plenty of hysteria (and misinformation) about the swine flu. If you can, try to focus on what you can control: Your hygiene, your contact with others, and your health.