Veterinarians Stress Importance of Handwashing

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is joining other U.S. public health organizations in urging everyone to take their health into their hands by observing National Handwashing Awareness Week, Dec. 7-13.

Created in 1999 by physician Dr. Will Sawyer due to a flu vaccine shortage in Cincinnati, National Handwashing Awareness Week is now observed across the country.

According to Dr. James O. Cook, president of the AVMA, proper handwashing can greatly reduce the spread of disease between animals and people, known as zoonotic disease.

"We are exposed to germs or expose others to germs as we go through our day, interacting with animals and other people," Dr. Cook said. "Keeping our hands free of germs through proper handwashing is often the best way to avoid getting sick or spreading diseases to other people."

Dogs and cats, especially those that go outside, can carry germs from the environment into the home on their fur, paws, or in their mouths. Some animals, like turtles, iguanas, snakes, and lizards, often carry Salmonella bacteria. Petting zoos, farms, county fairs, and other sites that allow human contact with farm animals pose a risk for the spread of E. Coli, among other diseases. Simple hand washing can reduce that risk. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year 5,000 people die from food-borne illnesses. A direct link to many of these deaths is poor handwashing. In addition, there are 76 million food-borne illnesses resulting in more than 300,000 hospital admissions each year.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - May 2022

    May 2022

    Featuring:

    • WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
      How Wearable Technology is Transforming Safety and the Industrial Workplace
    • TRAINING: CONFINED SPACES
      Five Tips to Improve Safety in Confined Spaces
    • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
      Monitor for Asbestos to Help Save Lives
    • PPE: FALL PROTECTION
      Fall Protection Can Be Surprising
    View This Issue