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Personal Health: Bringing Good Hygiene Home


Aiello, Allison E.; Larson, Elaine L.; & Sedlak, Richard (2008). Personal Health: Bringing Good Hygiene Home. American Journal of Infection Control, 36(10 Suppl.), S152-165.


Research on infections over the past few decades has focused on hospitals, day-care facilities, and schools, but little attention was paid to the home. Today, the increase of foodborne illness and a growing need for home health care have focused renewed interest on hygiene and cleanliness in the home. “Hygiene” refers to conditions or practices by which people maintain or promote good health by keeping themselves and their surroundings clean. Even in our contemporary society, good hygiene practices continue to be the primary disease-prevention strategy. As described earlier, hygiene is one of the silent victories of public health. This article focuses on hygiene in the newest frontier of disease prevention—the 21st-century home. Do personal hygiene and household cleanliness practices affect the risk of spreading infectious disease? In this article, we'll review the “hygiene barrier” concept and the range of hygiene needs within the home environment, and discuss disease-causing microbes—their sources, how they spread, and how their transmission can be controlled by proper personal hygiene and household cleaning practices. This information offers a framework for developing practical home strategies to manage risk from infections.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Infection Control


Aiello, Allison E.
Larson, Elaine L.
Sedlak, Richard