Chinakwe* E.C, Nwogwugwu N.U, Nwachukwu .N, Okorondu S.I, Onyemekara N.N Ndubuisi-Nnaji, U.U
The microbial quality of hand-wash water samples of three groups of people: market traders, civil servants and students in Owerri, Nigeria were analysed using standard microbiological techniques. A total of 246 samples were used and results revealed the presence of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter sp, Shigella sp, Klebsiella sp, Enterococcus sp, Corynebacterium sp and Pseudomonas sp. Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli showed the highest prevalence amongst the groups of people sampled. The average total coliform counts and total heterotrophic bacterial counts revealed that the market women had the highest values of 1.9X1010 and 8.2X109 cfu/ml respectively; followed by students, 2.1X108 and 2.2X108 cfu/ml and civil servants 3.3X106 and 3.0X107 cfu/ml. These microorganisms are causative agents of diseases and infections such as common cold, which are easily contracted through hand to hand contact, as well as several cases of gastrointestinal disorders, and most urinary tract infections. The practice of proper hand hygiene is advocated owing to its public health significance.
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