Washing hands is the best way to prevent the spread of germs and diseases. Dirty hands can carry pathogenic germs that can sicken a person or spread diseases to others. Microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi and various chemicals can enter our bodies directly when we touch our face, eyes, nose or mouth or may enter indirectly, when our dirty hands stain surfaces touched by others or where food is prepared. The habit of washing hands with soap and water constitutes the first line of defense against the spread of many diseases, from the common cold or diarrhea to more serious illnesses such as meningitis, influenza or hepatitis as well as many other diseases. This 2-D animation describes the importance of hand washing.