CDC's New Infection Prevention Campaign - Wash Your Hands!

ATLANTA (Reuters) - U.S. health officials launched a new education campaign Monday promoting simple steps to reduce the spread of infectious diseases that kill more than 160,000 people every year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the campaign, titled ``An Ounce of Prevention Keeps the Germs Away,'' would emphasize basic methods of protection against diseases ranging from the common cold and flu to AIDS.
The program will emphasize handwashing, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, safe preparation and handling of food, immunizations, appropriate use of antibiotics, keeping pets healthy and immunized and avoiding wild animals.
``This is the real thrust of this campaign -- to get back to basics. There are things you can do that really impact your health,'' said Dr. Mitch Cohen, director of the CDC's Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases.
Cohen said advances in technology have led many people to forget basic methods of reducing the spread of diseases. ``People believe because we control so many diseases with immunization and antibiotics that infectious diseases are not as important as they used to be,'' he said.
``I think we're finding now, with increasing incidence of certain diseases, new diseases and antibiotic resistance, that they are very important,'' Cohen said.
The CDC said infectious disease is the underlying cause of death in more than 160,000 Americans every year.

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