I heard a little voice coming from the ladies room in our West Nyack office, “13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19…”
A little girl, probably a kindergartner, in her smart school uniform, was at the sink, washing her hands diligently (yes, she missed “16.” But she was concentrating, very, very hard.) Her mom was trying to rush her to a medical appointment, but the little girl wouldn’t budge. She informed her mother, “You have to count to 30 when you wash your hands.”
The Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and other medical groups say proper handwashing is a key preventative in spreading swine flu and other viruses. Recall the MRSA skin infection fears last school year that included notes sent home reminding kids to wash hands, and student athletes to shower regularly and wash their uniforms? Soap and water matter.
That lesson remains important.
Swine flu (or H1N1 influenza, to be more accurate) has been detected in Rockland. Two preschoolers are on the mend, Rockland County Health Commissioner Joan Facelle told staff writer Jane Lerner today (see story here). Westchester has 18 confirmed cases and Putnam has none. New York state has 299 confirmed cases.
FILE PHOTO: Rachel Lauzer, a fourth grader at Daniel Webster Elementary School in New Rochelle washes up after art class Nov. 15, 2007. Students made hand washing posters reminding people to wash their hands to prevent the spread of MRSA.