ASU professor shows how 20 seconds of hand washing can reduce bacteria under a black light

As the number of coronavirus cases rise worldwide, keeping germs away has been top of mind for a lot of people. 

Health officials have said it time and time again: One of the best ways to stay safe is the simplest one, wash your hands frequently and efficiently.

A reported only 5% of Americans are washing their hands correctly.

FULL COVERAGE: fox10phoenix.com/coronavirus

FOX 10 stopped by Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute to talk with Dr. Shelley Haydel who says handwashing is "absolutely critical." She says microorganisms can spread easily after contracting them from each surface that we touch.

After 5 seconds of handwashing, Dr. Haydel hovered a black light over freshly washed hands and bacteria was highlighted all over. After 20 seconds of washing with warm, soapy water, the bacteria was significantly lower under a black light.

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

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