Angelina health official says you can't wash your hands too much

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Whitney Grunder - email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Three-year-old Savannah Porter knows to wash her hands regularly.

"She's allergic to a lot of things so we kind of watch her extra and she gets colds very easy so we are always washing hands, washing her face," her grandmother, Debra Porter said.

Savannah's grandmother is not surprised to hear that men and women are washing their hands more than ever before.

"People are more health-conscious than they used to be," Porter said. "I know when we were kids we never thought about it. We just ran and played. We hardly ever got sick but I think in the last few years it's gotten worse."

A new study from the American Society for Microbiology and the American Cleaning Institute observed 85 percent of men and women washing their hands in 2010, up 8 percent from 2007 and 17 percent from 1996.

"They're more aware how germs are spread and hand washing is the number one universal precaution that we can use," said Deanna Andrade, disease surveillance specialist at the Angelina County and Cities Health District. "We've known that for a long time but no we're more in tune to it."

Without becoming too obsessive about handwashing.

"You can't be too concerned with being clean in any part of your body," Certified Nursing Assistant Cynthia Thomas said.

While some professions may determine how often you wash up, flu season is a reminder for everyone to be conscious of germs.

"Somebody doesn't know they're sick," Porter said. "They come in and touch things. The tables, the chairs, the shopping carts."

Health specialists say families should be sure to get their flu shots now.

"It takes two weeks for it to be effective and now's the time you need to get in and get it," Andrade said.

So you don't end up sick in bed this flu season.

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