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County Health Department Kicks Off Campaign

The Fairfax County Department of Health has decided to bring health education back to the basics with its latest campaign: "Your Health is in Your Hands — Wash."

Kimberly Cordero, spokeswoman for the Department of Health, said to kick off their campaign they met with Gerry Connolly (D-At-large), Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, to earn the support of the board early in the process.

In addition, the Department of Health has already delivered posters, large and small, to roughly 200 school clinics, restaurants in the county and county-run facilities such as fire and rescue stations, social services offices and homeless shelters to get the message across.

"Hand washing is, for the Health Department, our overreaching message," said Cordero.

Although the message seems somewhat elementary, Cordero said a majority of people do not know how to properly wash their hands.

Because germs tend to stay in the nail bed area and other small crevices on the hand, Cordero said it is important the public follows the department's six-step campaign.

In case groups need a hands-on approach, the Department of Health will provide a hand-washing demonstration, according to Cordero.

AS A PART of the demonstration a special lotion is applied before someone washes their hands. After washing, the hands are placed under a black light, to show where the lotion, or "germs", still remain.

"You would think something so simple doesn't need help," said Cordero. "But, it does."

Cordero said germs and illnesses like influenza and norvovirus, among other common colds, can be prevented by consistent and thorough hand washing, especially when someone is sick.

"It is so easy to prevent these diseases by washing your hands," she said.

In addition to supplying county-run facilities with posters, Cordero said Department of Health hopes to place posters in a majority of the businesses in the county.

Along with supplying letter-sized, laminated posters to hang in bathrooms, the Department of Health has a large poster geared toward protecting against flu season through proper hand-washing.

For more information about the "Your Health is in Your Hands — Wash" campaign or to receive posters or a Department of Health hand-washing demonstration, call 703-246-2411 or go online at www.fairfaxcount.gov/hd.