Why is hygiene still so important?
At the turn of the C19th, people still lived in constant fear of killer infectious diseases. Hygiene was recognised as vital to reducing risks.
Around the 1950’s, access to antibiotics and vaccines, clean food and water, toilets and sanitation lulled people into believing that infectious diseases were no longer a real threat. Attitudes to hygiene became more relaxed.
The idea, prevalent at the time, that infectious disease would soon become a thing of the past, no longer holds.
With rising concern about antibiotic resistance, emerging pathogens etc, we now realise that hygiene is still a cornerstone in the fight against infection in a crowded and mobile world.
Hygiene-related disease in the home and community
Food-related, waterborne, and non-food-related intestinal diseases
remain at unacceptable levels, despite the fact that food borne infections are largely controllable through good food and kitchen hygiene.
WHO estimate that about
of reported food-borne outbreaks occur in private homes.
Respiratory infections remain common:
A German study of 1,314 children recorded an average of 21.9 respiratory infections by the age of 12 years, with up to 11 episodes a year. Good respiratory hygiene can limit spread of respiratory infections, most particularly colds, but also influenza.