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HEALTH TIPS: Centers for Disease Control Gives Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

By  //  November 10, 2018


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Everyone can practice food safety during the holidays

Feasting with family and friends is part of many holiday celebrations. Follow these simple tips to keep safe from food poisoning, or foodborne illness, during the holidays. (CDC image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Feasting with family and friends is part of many holiday celebrations. Follow these simple tips to keep safe from food poisoning, or foodborne illness, during the holidays.

Everyone can practice food safety during the holidays.

  • Wash your hands. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water before and after preparing food, after touching raw meat, raw eggs, or unwashed vegetables, and before eating or drinking.
  • Cook food thoroughly. Meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can carry germs that cause food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to ensure these foods have been cooked to the safe minimum internal temperature. Roasts, chops, steaks and fresh ham should rest for 3 minutes after removing from the oven or grill.
  • Keep food out of the “danger zone.” Bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature. After food is cooked, keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Refrigerate or freeze any perishable food within 2 hours. The temperature in your refrigerator should be set at or below 40°F and the freezer at or below 0°F.
  • Use pasteurized eggs for dishes containing raw eggs. Salmonella and other harmful germs can live on both the outside and inside of normal-looking eggs. Many holiday favorites contain raw eggs, including eggnog, tiramisu, hollandaise sauce, and Caesar dressing. Always use pasteurized eggs when making these and other foods made with raw eggs.
  • Do not eat dough or batter. Dough and batter made with flour or eggs can contain harmful germs, such as E. coli and Salmonella. Do not taste or eat unpasteurized dough or batter of any kind, including those for cookies, cakes, pies, biscuits, pancakes, tortillas, pizza, or crafts. Do not let children taste raw dough or batter or play with dough at home or in restaurants.
  • Keep foods separated. Keep meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods at the grocery and in the refrigerator. Prevent juices from meat, poultry, and seafood from dripping or leaking onto other foods by keeping them in containers or sealed plastic bags. Store eggs in their original carton in the main compartment of the refrigerator.
  • Safely thaw your turkey. Thaw turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Avoid thawing foods on the counter. A turkey must thaw at a safe temperature to prevent harmful germs from growing rapidly.

Pregnant women are 10 times more likely than others to get listeriosis, a rare but deadly foodborne infection caused by the bacteria Listeria. (CDC image)

Pregnancy and Food

Although everyone wants to keep food safe during the holidays, it is especially important for pregnant women to do so because they are at increased risk of food poisoning.

  • Avoid raw or unpasteurized milk and products made with it, such as soft cheeses. Raw or unpasteurized milk and products made with it can contain harmful germs, including Listeria. Avoid drinking raw milk and eating soft cheeses, such as queso fresco[2 MB], Brie, Camembert, feta, goat cheese, or Roquefort, if they are made from raw or unpasteurized milk.
  • Be aware that Hispanic-style cheeses made from pasteurized milk, such as queso fresco, also have caused Listeria infections, most likely because they were contaminated during cheese-making.
  • Avoid other raw or unpasteurized products, such as juice or cider.
  • Be careful with seafood. Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood unless it is in a cooked dish, such as a casserole, or unless it is canned or shelf-stable.
  • Be aware of holiday beverages. To reduce the possibility of fetal alcohol syndrome, watch out for alcohol-containing holiday punches and eggnogs. Avoid eggnog entirely unless you know it contains no alcohol and is pasteurized or made with pasteurized eggs and milk.

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Fire Air Quality: Health Tips for You and Your Pets

A smoke advisory remained in effect Saturday due to the Woolsey Fire, which was causing unhealthy air quality affecting everyone in areas directly impacted by smoke, including central and northwest coastal Los Angeles County, the San Fernando Valley and the western San Gabriel Valley.

A growing blanket of brown smoke crept across the Southland sky on Saturday, as the fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties grew to 70,000 acres with zero percent containment.

“It is difficult to tell where ash or soot from a fire will go, or how winds will affect the level of dust particles in the air, so we ask everyone to be aware of their immediate environment and to take actions to safeguard their health,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, health officer for Los Angeles County.

“Smoke and ash can be harmful to health, even people who are healthy,” Davis said. “People at higher risk include those with heart or lung diseases, children and older adults.”

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Early Saturday, the smoke created an eerie, fog-like presence that extended far south along the coast, including the Marina del Rey and LAX area. That lifted by around noon, but as the afternoon wore on the sky grew gradually darker over large swaths of Los Angeles County.

Davis urged everyone in areas where there is visible smoke or the smell of smoke to avoid unnecessary outdoor exposure and to limit physical exertion, whether indoor or outdoor, such as exercise.

Children and people who have air quality-sensitive conditions, such as heart disease, asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases, should follow the recommendations and stay indoors as much as possible, even in areas where smoke, soot or ash cannot be seen or there is no smell of smoke, according to DPH officials.

The health department is “also advising schools and recreational programs that are in session in smoke-impacted areas to suspend outside physical activities in these areas, including physical education and after-school sports, until conditions improve,” Davis said. “Non-school-related sports organizations for children and adults are advised to cancel outdoor practices and competitions in areas where there is visible smoke, soot or ash, or where there is an smell of smoke. This also applies to other recreational outdoor activity, such as hikes or picnics, in these areas.”

According to DPH, people can participate in indoor sports or other strenuous activity in areas with visible smoke, soot or ash, provided the indoor location has air conditioning that does not draw air from the outside and all windows and doors are closed.

Wildfire smoke is a mixture of small particles, gases and water vapor, and the primary health concern is the small particles, which can cause burning eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, headaches and bronchitis, health officials said. In people with sensitive conditions, the particles can cause difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, fatigue, and/or chest pain.

DPH offered the following recommendations:

– If you see or smell smoke, or see a lot of particles and ash in the air, avoid unnecessary outdoor activity to limit your exposure to harmful air. This is especially important for those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), the elderly and children.

– If outdoor air is bad, try to keep indoor air as clean as possible by keeping windows and doors closed. Air conditioners that re-circulate air within the home can help filter out harmful particles.

– Avoid using air conditioning units that only draw in air from the outside or that do not have a re-circulating option. Residents should check the filters on their air conditioners and replace them regularly. Indoor air filtration devices with HEPA filters can further reduce the level of particles that circulate indoors.

– If it is too hot during the day to keep the doors or windows closed and you do not have an air conditioning unit that re-circulates indoor air, consider going to an air conditioned public place, such as a library or shopping center, to stay cool and to protect yourself from harmful air.

– Do not use fireplaces (either wood burning or gas), candles, and vacuums. Use damp cloths to clean dusty indoor surfaces. Do not smoke.

– If you have symptoms of lung or heart disease that may be related to smoke exposure, including severe coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea or unusual fatigue or lightheadedness, contact your doctor immediately or go to an urgent care center. If life-threatening, contact 911.

– When smoke is heavy for a prolonged period of time, fine particles can build up indoors even though you may not be able to see them. Wearing a mask may prevent exposures to large particles. However, most masks do not prevent exposure to fine particles and toxic gases, which may be more dangerous to your health.

– Practice safe clean-up following a fire. Follow the ash clean-up and food safety instructions at

The following is recommended for pets:

– Avoid leaving your pets outdoors, particularly at night. Pets should be brought into an indoor location, such as an enclosed garage or a house.

– If dogs or cats appear to be in respiratory distress, they should be taken to an animal hospital immediately. Symptoms of respiratory distress for dogs include panting and/or an inability to catch their breath. Symptoms for cats are less noticeable, but may include panting and/or an inability to catch their breath.

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Mesa County Public Health’s Tips On Staying Healthy This Winter

Staying healthy in the winter is a challenge, to be sure.

It seems as though no matter what you do you get sick in the winter, so we asked the folks from Mesa County Public Health, Andy Tyler and Katie Nelson about ways we can be proactive to stay healthy this and every winter.

One of the ways they discuss is washing your hands regularly to avoid keeping germs sitting on your hands. Keeping your hands clean and free of germs will help stop the spread of colds, as will the use of hand sanitizers.

Another suggestion is to cough into the crook of your arm where it bends at the elbow. A much better place for your cough or sneeze than say someone’s face or just coughing or sneezing into the air.

The difference between a cold and the flu is the presence of a fever. Colds don’t usually have a fever associated with it, where the flu does. Also, colds seem to come on slower than flu, which is usually pretty quick to present itself.

Take the suggestions to heart this year and reduce the number of colds you and those you love usually get.

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Fit Tips: Nutrition Addiction – KFYR

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Chesprocott Health Tips About New Sneakers And Achy Joints


The following are two of the Chesprocott’s Healthy Communities Coalition Health Tips, being offered by the Health District on a weekly basis throughout 2018:

Hint ONE:

How old are your sneakers? Mostly likely your shoes are worn out.
A good rule of thumb is to replace your running/walking/gym shoes every 300 to 400 miles. Here are some simple reminders as to when you should beginning thinking about buying a new pair:

•If you walk for 45 minutes to an hour three times a week, get a new pair of shoes every five months.
•If you walk for 45 minutes to an hour four times a week, hit the shoe store every four months.
•If you walk 45 minutes to an hour five times a week? Get replacements every three months.

Walkers/runners will be amazed by how great they’ll feel when they get a new pair of shoes. The added cushioning will be wonderful for the feet, and you’ll have lots more energy when you walk or run.
Don’t forget to get your steps in today.

Hint TWO:

How can you avoid getting achy joints?
You can’t always prevent arthritis. Some causes, such as increasing age, family history, and gender—many types of arthritis are more common in women—are out of your control.
There are a few healthy habits you can practice to reduce your risk of developing painful joints as you get older. Many of these practices, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet, prevent other diseases, too.
Eat fish
Certain fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3s have a number of health benefits, and they can reduce inflammation in the body.
Control your weight
Your knees have to support your body weight. Being overweight or obese can take a real toll on them. If you’re just 10 pounds overweight, the force on your knee as you take each step increases by 30 to 60 pounds, according to Johns Hopkins.
Exercise not only takes the stress of excess weight off your joints, but also strengthens the muscles around the joints. This stabilizes them and can protect them from added wear and tear.
To maximize the benefits of your exercise program, alternate aerobic activities such as walking or swimming with strengthening exercises. Also, add in some stretching to maintain your flexibility and range of motion.
Avoid injury
To avoid injury, always use the proper safety equipment while playing sports, and learn the correct exercise techniques.
Protect your joints
Using the right techniques when sitting, working, and lifting can help protect joints from everyday strains. For example, lift with your knees and hips—not your back—when picking up objects.
See your doctor
If you do start to develop arthritis, see your doctor or a rheumatologist. The damage from arthritis is usually progressive, meaning the longer you wait to seek treatment, the more destruction can occur to the joint.

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Childhood obesity linked to poor performance in school- details inside


Washington DC: According to a new study, childhood obesity may affect school performance and coping skills for challenging situations. The study abstract, “Childhood Flourishing is Negatively Associated with Obesity,” was presented during the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 2018 National Conference and Exhibition.

Researchers analysed responses from 22,914 parents and caregivers of children aged 10-17 years who participated in the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health. The goal was to determine the independent association between body mass index (BMI) and five markers of “flourishing,” or overall well-being as it relates to the development of positive psychosocial and coping skills.

“Childhood obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges we face today. We know that children with obesity are at a greater risk for long-term health conditions that can last into adulthood, and we wanted to see whether obesity affects a child’s immediate well-being as it relates to development of psychosocial skills and other signs of flourishing,” said Natasha Gill, MD, FAAP, a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Adjusting for several confounding variables, including gender, child depression status, average sleep hours per night, average digital media exposure per day, highest parental education level, and household poverty status, Dr. Gill and her colleagues analysed parents’ responses to questions about whether their child shows interest and curiosity in learning new things, works to finish tasks he or she starts, stays calm and in control when faced with a challenge, cares about doing well in school and does all required homework.

Researchers found that only 27.5 per cent of children with obesity, defined as a BMI at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex, were reported to have all five flourishing markers. This compares with 36.5 per cent of those in the overweight range, with BMI at or above the 85th percentile, and 39 per cent of children with normal BMI.

“The negative relationship between obesity and flourishing markers suggests that when compared to children with a normal BMI, obese youth may be less likely to develop healthy relationships, positive attitudes, a sense of purpose and responsibility, and interest in learning. Individual markers of flourishing have been shown to stay the same over time like a person’s personality,” she said, “so it may be important to monitor these markers in childhood to ensure optimal development into adulthood,” said Dr. Gill.

“We want all children to reach their maximum potential. If we can intervene early enough, we can promote positive physical, mental, and social development for these at-risk children and help them become responsible, hard-working members of society,” she said, adding that her study’s findings support the need for focused and coordinated efforts and resources from schools and health care providers that target obesity to improve overall well-being.

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Tips for meal kit and food delivery safety

Whether food is shipped to your home or delivered by a local service, it needs to stay at a safe temperature to prevent the growth of germs that could make you sick. Follow these tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy while enjoying meals prepared at home from these foods.

Before ordering, ask questions first. Research companies and call customer service to ask about food safety standards. This is particularly important if you are buying the food for someone who is more likely to get food poisoning: adults 65 and older, children younger than 5, people with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women. Ask how the company responds if food is delivered at an unsafe temperature or is otherwise not safe to eat. Find out if the company provides information with each shipment on safe handling and preparation of food, including cooking temperatures.

Arrange for a delivery when someone is at home, so food can be refrigerated quickly instead of being left outside until someone is at home. If you cant be there in person, see if a neighbor can.

Find a safe space for delivery if no one will be at home when food arrives. Food should be delivered to a cool, shaded, and secure location where pests and rodents wont be able to get it. Let the company know where you would like them to leave your box.

Check the temperature with a food thermometer. Perishable food should arrive frozen, partially frozen with ice crystals still visible, or at least as cold as it would be in a refrigerator (40 F or below). The only way to know that the food is safe to eat is to use a food thermometer to make sure that the ingredients are 40 F or below. Even if a perishable food product is smoked, cured, vacuum-packed, or fully cooked, it still must be kept cold.

Safe Food Delivery and Receipt

Examine the box and packaging. When you get your delivery, look for stickers on the box that say Keep Refrigerated or Keep Frozen if you ordered perishable food such as meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, or dairy.

Make sure the company uses insulated packaging and materials such as dry ice or frozen gel packs to keep perishable food cold in transit.

Refrigerate or freeze your delivery as soon as possible. Bacteria can multiply rapidly if food is kept in the Danger Zone between 40F and 140F for more than two hours. After you have made sure that the food was delivered at a safe temperature, store it in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as possible until you are ready to prepare it.

Notify the company if food arrives above 40F. Dont eat any of the food, or even taste it to see if it is safe. Food can be unsafe and still taste, look, and smell OK. When in doubt, throw it out.

Call federal food safety hotlines if you have questions about whether your food is safe to eat.

Safe Food Handling

Wash your hands and kitchen utensils. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds before, during, and after handling any food. Wash your utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with hot, soapy water after using them.

Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running water.

Separate foods to avoid cross-contamination. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from other foods, and use separate cutting boards for these ingredients.

Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours. Make sure you know how long your leftovers will keep in the fridge or freezer.

Subscription meal kits, mail-order food, and home-delivered groceries offer convenience. Make sure food safety is part of the package, too. Home-delivered food must be handled properly so it is safe to eat. Source:

Julie Buck, EdD, RDN, is a registered dietitian, food safety and health educator employed at the University of Idaho Extension, Bingham County. She can be reached at (208)785-8060 or

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We Just ‘Fell Back’ An Hour. Here Are Tips To Stay Healthy During Dark Days Ahead

Biological clocks

Credit: Katherine Streeter for NPR

When it comes to turning back the clocks on our devices, technology has us covered. Our smartphones automatically adjust.

But our internal clocks aren’t as easy to re-program. And this means that the time shift in the fall and again in the spring can influence our health in unexpected ways.

“You might not think that a one hour change is a lot,” says Fred Turek, who directs the Center for Sleep Circadian Biology at Northwestern University. “But it turns out that the master clock in our brain is pretty hard-wired, ” Turek explains. It’s synchronized to the 24 hour light/dark cycle.

Daylight is a primary cue to reset the body’s clock each day. So, if daylight comes an hour earlier — as it will for many of us this weekend — it throws us off.

“The internal clock has to catch up, and it takes a day or two to adjust to the new time,” Turek says.

Scientists have documented that the shift to daylight saving time in the spring, when we lose an hour of sleep, is linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and traffic accidents.

These studies are a reminder of just how sensitive we are to time and rhythm. Over the last 20 years, scientists have documented that, in addition to the master clock in our brains, every cell in our body has a time-keeping mechanism. These clocks help regulate important functions such as sleep and metabolism. And increasingly, there’s evidence that when our habits — such as when we eat and sleep — are out of sync with our internal clocks, it can harm us.

As we’ve reported, our bodies crave consistent routines. When we disrupt our routines with erratic sleep or eating habits, it can increase the risk of metabolic disease. For instance, people who work overnight shifts are at higher risk of developing diabetes and obesity. Research also shows that kids who don’t have set bedtimes and mealtimes are also more likely to become overweight.

At this time of year, as the amount of daylight continues to decrease, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. “The [decrease] in daylight can throw off a lot of things including socialization and emotional rhythm,” says Sanam Hafeez, an adjunct assistant professor of psychology at Columbia University.

How to prepare for the darker days ahead

Go to bed an hour or so earlier. As the clocks turn back, Hafeez says you want to maximize your exposure to daylight in the morning hours, since it gets dark so early in the evening. If you’re accustomed to going to bed at 11 p.m., try 10 p.m. instead. “Just record ‘The Daily Show,’ or whatever you watch at night. That’s what I do,” says Hafeez.

How Messing With Our Body Clocks Can Raise Alarms With Health

As we’ve reported, research has shown that a lack of sleep can send a signal to the body to store fat, so getting plenty of shut-eye is key to good health. And, if you use the morning for exercise, all the better, since physical activity can help stave off depression.

Stock up on foods that nourish. Our moods can take a turn south during the cold dark months, and we tend to eat more, too. So, instead of a big plate of pasta for dinner, think about adding protein sources. “There definitely seems to be more fullness associated with protein,” Janet Polivy of the University of Toronto at Mississauga told us in 2011.

Food-Mood Connection: How You Eat Can Amp Up Or Tamp Down Stress

Fish, nuts and other plant-based proteins such as tofu are good alternatives if you don’t want to add meat. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. “One of the most basic ways that omega-3s help to regulate mood is by quieting down the [body's] response to inflammation,” Joe Hibbeln of the National Institutes of Health told us for a story on the Food-Mood connection.

Eat dinner early and keep it light. Research suggests that the timing of your meals can help stave off weight-gain. In one study, a group of dieters who ate their main meal of the day before 3 p.m. lost about five pounds more than the people who ate a dinner meal later in the evening.

So here’s one approach: Make lunch your main meal, and take a small-plate, tapas approach to dinner. Also, limit alcohol. There’s plenty of evidence that drinking more than a serving or two per day is not healthy.

Join a club or group activity. Winter can bring social isolation. “Some people tend to hibernate,” Hafeez says. And some people develop seasonal depression. Bright lights or light boxes can help people who have seasonal affective disorder.

A New Prescription For Depression: Join A Team And Get Sweaty

Another approach is to try to stay socially engaged. Hafeez’s advice: Join a book club or find people with a shared hobby. Group exercise classes are also effective at combating the winter blues.

Go south — or closer to the equator — if you can. The farther north you live, the darker your days will be in the winter. And this can dampen your mood. Here’s Fred Turek’s advice: “I take more trips to the southern part of the U.S. during the winter months. The closer you get to the equator, the more daylight there is,” Turek says.

Of course, for many of us, travel is a luxury, so this might not be possible, but it’s important to get as much light into your day as you can.

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Childhood violence may spur puberty, depression: Study

Childhood puberty, depression

New York: Children who are exposed to violence such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse are more likely to experience faster biological ageing, including pubertal development and increased symptoms of depression, finds a research. The study showed that in children who experienced early life violence, accelerated epigenetic ageing was associated with increased symptoms of depression. 

This means that faster biological ageing may be one way that early life adversity “gets under the skin” to contribute to later health problems. Conversely, children exposed to forms of early life deprivation including neglect and food insecurity were more likely to experience their puberty at a later stage compared with their peers, the researchers said.

“The findings demonstrate that different types of early-life adversity can have different consequences for children’s development,” said Katie McLaughlin, postdoctoral student at the University of Washington. 

For the study, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, the team examined 247 children and adolescents aged eight to 16 years. The results indicated that accelerated ageing following exposure to violence early in life can already be detected in children as young as eight years old.

In addition, the team found that there is a need for increased societal investment in reducing the exposure of children to violence and for biomedical and psychological research to reduce the impact of these experiences throughout the lives of these vulnerable individuals.

The association between the ageing metrics and symptoms of depression may offer a way for doctors to identify children who need help, the researchers said. 

“Accelerated epigenetic age and pubertal stage could be used to identify youth who are developing faster than expected given their chronological age and who might benefit from intervention,” McLaughlin noted.

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HEALTH TIPS: Florida Department of Health Advises Washing Hands During Holiday Season

By  //  November 3, 2018


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prevents flu and common cold

Holiday gatherings are breeding grounds for germs like the flu and the common cold. Airports, airplanes, taxis, and rideshare cars are also likely places to pick up a virus.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The holidays are a great opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends, celebrate life, to be grateful, and reflect on what’s important. Nothing brings down the holiday spirit like a case of stomach flu or a cold.

Holiday gatherings are breeding grounds for germs like the flu and the common cold. Airports, airplanes, taxis, and rideshare cars are also likely places to pick up a virus.

Follow five simple steps to wash your hands, and enjoy the coming holidays:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

For more information, visit CDC’s Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives website.

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