SIR – It was back in 1847 that Ignaz Semmelweiss, a Hungarian doctor made a connection that cleansing hands could prevent infection.

His actions dramatically reduced the rates of death on his maternity ward and he became known as the father of hand-hygiene.

A few years later during the Crimean war, Florence Nightingale proposed a link between cleanliness and disease transmission of which hand washing was a key element.

Her work was attributed to saving the lives of many wounded soldiers. These events were at a time of a world population of around 1.2 billion with no antibiotics or vaccinations.

Fast forward 170 years to a global mobilised world of 7.2 billion now facing managing the coronavirus disease.

It is now proven science our hands are the primary carriers of dirt, viruses and bacteria and that hand washing reduces the transmission and ultimate spread of diseases.

Even the common seasonal flu virus was the cause of around 650,000 deaths worldwide during 2019.

So, let us all take responsibility today and always follow the NHS and WHO guidelines on hand washing.

Remember “Clean hands are safe hands” – you may just save suffering and anxiety and even lives.

Linda Ford

Retired Senior Nurse, Worcester