Oldham doctor's advice aimed at averting a health apocalypse

Date published: 09 March 2020

An Oldham doctor has warned that unless thorough handwashing and checking – in the way school children used to be examined by dinner ladies – is brought back, then Britain will have to brace itself for a health apocalypse.

And he is not even talking about the coronavirus.

Dr Zahid Chauhan believes that a collapse in basic manners means that people with everything from colds to measles, hepatitis and even warts are spreading their germs through touch, saliva and sneezes.

Even sexually transmitted diseases have increased to World War Two levels – because seemingly obsessively clean teens don’t wash after intercourse.

Said Chauhan: “We live in a world where there are more sanitizer products than ever before, and younger people claim to be image conscious.

"And yet we clearly don’t teach our children the importance of proper handwashing especially after going to the toilet or why sneezing and coughing in public and spreading your contagious germs is dangerous.

"This is basic stuff – does it take the Coronavirus outbreak for people to get it?” 

The NHS has produced a guide to handwashing with soap and water, which states:

·       Wet hands with water

·       Rub the front and back of the hands once you have applied the soap

·       Make sure you scrub the fingertips and the nails

·       Turn the tap off with your elbow

·       Dry your hands thoroughly with a towel

Whilst the coronavirus has hogged the headlines, Dr Chauhan thinks that it is strains of flu and common cold-like viruses that will push the NHS to the brink this spring.

He added: “Influenza and measles can be really dangerous illnesses and even killers, with older folks and the vulnerable the most susceptible.

"Aside from poor hygiene, the fact that people won’t have a flu jab is mind-boggling and this is contributing to the problem.

"We all have a part to play in protecting our own health and that of those around us.

"Goodness me, it takes between 15 and 20 seconds to wash your hands properly – is that too much to ask?”

Dr Zahid Chauhan is a national campaigner for health equalities and the founder of the Homeless-Friendly health programme for rough sleepers and those experiencing homelessness.

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