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Touching Your Face Can Be Bad for Your Health

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It’s common knowledge that clean hands are essential to preventing the spread of disease. Equally as important, is to keep from touching your face.

“Viruses can enter your body when you touch an infected surface, like a doorknob, debit card machine or restaurant menu, and then you touch your eyes, mouth or nose,” said Nancy Bond, quality director and infection preventionist with Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital. “The Mayo Clinic has done studies that show the average American touches their face every 20 seconds.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, viruses can live on commonly touched surfaces for several days. The length of time depends on the virus.

“It’s important to wash or sanitize your hands often, especially before you eat,” Bond said. “When you’re sick, it’s really important to wash your hands more often, and disinfect surfaces you touch.”