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Clean Hands Can Keep Holiday Bugs Away
12/16/2008

CLEBURNE, Texas — With the holidays approaching, many people will be gathering to share gifts, but one present that no one wants this Christmas is to get sick at the family party.

Some viruses and bacteria can live two hours or longer on surfaces such as doorknobs, tables and desks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Simple tips, such as covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze, cleaning your hands often, and reminding children to practice healthy habits can have a big payoff, according to the CDC.

Who doesn’t know the “Happy Birthday” song? Well, it turns out the tune isn’t just for when birthday cakes are brought out to blow out candles. To ensure that hands are cleaned thoroughly, the CDC recommends washing hands — with soap and warm water — for 15 to 20 seconds, or about the same time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

“As with many things in life, simple precautions and solutions are often the most effective and the same is true about protecting yourself from getting sick at the holidays,” said Carol Olivier, R.N., infection prevention and control practitioner at Harris Methodist Walls Regional Hospital, soon to be Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne. “Getting wrapped up in a fun party can be distracting, but making time to thoroughly wash your hands can keep you in the holiday spirit.”

About Harris Methodist Walls Regional Hospital
Harris Methodist Walls Regional Hospital, soon to be Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne, is a 137-bed acute-care, full-service medical center serving Cleburne and the Johnson County area since 1986. The hospital's services include surgery, women and infant services, urology, orthopedics and ear, nose and throat care. Harris Methodist Walls Regional Hospital has been recently recognized for the Texas Health Care Quality Improvement award from TMF, the 2007 Premier/Carescience Select Practice National Quality Award and the 2007 Premier Award for Quality for Heart Failure. For more information, please call 1-888-4-HARRIS, or visit www.texashealth.org/hmwr.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR’s system of 13 hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System, and a medical research organization. THR is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit www.texashealth.org.

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