10 Diseases Caused By Not Washing Your Hands Before Meals

If you think you are doing a good job in the personal hygiene department, here is news for you. You could collect dirt and bacteria just by touching your mobile, computer, tables, touching other people’s hands, and pretty much anything your fingers reaches out to.

There was even a study in the Southern Medical Journal that says 94% of dollar bills had nasty pathogens on them, this included the fecal bacteria – E. Coli. Are you reaching out to the soap, yet?

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Here are the diseases you can prevent just by running your hands under some warm water and soap.

1. Diarrhea

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According to WHO, diarrhea kills 760,000 children each year under the age of five. Diarrhoeal disease occurs when you pass three or more liquid stools a day. This leaves you severely dehydrated and your body completely drained out of the salts it requires for survival. It happens due to an infection in the intestinal tract caused by contact with contaminated water or food. One of the biggest prevention methods is to wash your hands properly with soap.

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2. Hepatitis A

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This is a serious disease caused by a viral infection of the liver. This could cause jaundice, abdominal pain, constant fatigue, and fever. It is spread when you consume food that has been handled by people who don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom. It can also be transmitted by direct contact with an infected person. Always wash your hands before eating and even before touching your own nose or mouth.

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3. Gastroenteritis

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Gastroenteritis, aka stomach flu, is caused by an inflammation in the stomach and intestines. It could be a viral (Noroviruses and Rotaviruses) or bacterial infection. The symptoms are usually vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, and headache. The condition is contagious, commonly spread when you don’t wash your hands after a bathroom trip, changing a diaper, and direct contact with someone who has the disease.

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4. Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease

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This diseases is highly contagious caused when you had direct contact with someone with unwashed hands or when you touch surfaces with fecal matter. It’s caused by a group of enteroviruses, mostly the coxsackievirus.  It’s easily identifiable because of the appearance of blisters in the mouth, on your palms, and on your feet.

5. Shigellosis

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Shigellosis is a bacterial infection in the intestines caused by a bacteria known as shigella. It is marked by watery diarrhea with blood. This could happen when you don’t wash your hands after changing a baby’s diaper or helping kids with toilet training. Touching your mouth with unwashed hands is one of the main culprits here.

6. Giardiasis

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Giardiasis is a disease caused by a parasite known as Giardia lamblia. These tiny parasites enter the intestines through contaminated water and water, and contact with infected people. The symptoms usually come up after two weeks from the exposure. Look out for fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, gas, and cramps. Washing your hands before eating or touching your face is important, especially if you work in a place where there are a lot of germs.

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7. Worm Infestation

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Fecal matter are filled with worms. These intestinal worms lay eggs and they have the ability to survive for a long time. These worms that infect us include roundworms, tapeworms, and flukes. The eggs might be found in the fingernails after a bathroom trip. When you ingest the food with unwashed hands, you help these worms to get into your body.

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8. Throat Infections

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Eating food with unwashed hands can spell disaster not only for your stomach and intestines but your throat as well. Touching food with unwashed hands can transfer the bacteria from your fingers to your windpipe. This might allow bacteria to get into contact with your mucus lining and this would result in respiratory illnesses, and you would end up with a throat infection.

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9. Amoebiasis

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Amoebiasis is a parasite infection that occurs in the intestines. The parasite Entamoeba histolytica  is to blame and they like living in intestines. The infection happens when you eat food or drink water that’s contaminated with faecal matter. About 90% of people who suffer from this don’t show any symptoms but the disease could grow to make the person seriously ill. You might experience abdominal cramping, diarrhea with blood and mucus.

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10. Body Fluid Infections

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You could get infected when you get into contact with body fluids. Cytomegalovirus is a common virus that could hit people with a weak immune system. Some symptoms include fever, sore throat, and swollen glands. You could get infected by the virus during contact with urine while changing a baby’s diaper, or if you’re working for a day care center. Regularly washing your hands can help you from contracting the virus.

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