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WIU Emphasizes Hand Washing, Illness Prevention with Clean Hands Week Sept. 20-26
September 18, 2009
MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University will celebrate and promote Clean Hands Week Sunday, Sept. 20 – Saturday, Sept. 26. During the week, Western students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take the time to learn about the importance of hand hygiene and hand-washing techniques, which can prevent the spread of germs and is important for food safety, disease prevention and personal health.
At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22 in the University Union Concourse, WIU President Al Goldfarb will sign a proclamation declaring Western's participation in Clean Hands Week.
"Dr. Goldfarb's proclamation signing will serve to endorse the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proclamation of the need for all individuals, as a public health imperative, to routinely wash hands to prevent the onset of illness," explained JoAnn Hairston-Jones, health education coordinator at Beu Health Center. "WIU is taking action to remind our community to practice this simple and often overlooked -- but essential -- component of disease prevention," she added.
Other activities at Western during the weeklong event include:
FREE Seasonal Flu Shot Clinics Offered by Beu Health Center
10 a.m.– 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, Union Concourse
4–7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, Thompson Hall (dining pit)
10 a.m.– 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, Union Concourse
4–7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, Bayliss-Henninger lobby
10 a.m.– 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, Union Concourse
4–7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, Lincoln-Washington-Grote Pit
(Next week, Beu Health Center will offer students at the Quad Cities campus a free flu shot clinic from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30.)
Students T.A.L.K. peer educators, along with members of the Hospitality Club, will be available 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept.22 in the Union Concourse to provide hand-washing demonstrations and share information about the impact of proper hand washing, as well as other methods to prevent colds and flu and H1N1. Resource materials, hand sanitizer and hand clappers will be available for free.
According to Beu Health Center Director Mary Margaret Harris and Beu's Chief of Staff Dr. Richard Iverson, the CDC's steps to fight the flu and prevent illness are applicable to H1N1 too.
"The first thing you should do is take time to get vaccinated. CDC recommends a yearly seasonal flu vaccine as an important step in protecting against seasonal flu," Harris and Iverson said. "In addition to hand washing, you can take everyday preventative actions, such as covering your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. You should also avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as germs spread this way. If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone, except to get medical care. Finally, individuals should take flu antiviral drugs if recommended."
The Clean Hands Coalition is comprised of a variety of agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and National Environmental Health Association.
For more information about Clean Hands Week, visit www.cleanhandscoalition.org. Contact Beu Health Center at (309) 298-1888 or visit online at beu.wiu.edu.
Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606