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Protecting People in Your Environment

preventing germs

Germs spread via coughing, sneezing, and person-to-person contact. Protecting yourself from germs in the first place is one of the best ways to stay healthy this season. We’ve got some tips and tricks for your daily routine to help you stay healthy and avoid the spread of sickness.

Avoid Contact

Stay away from people who are sick or are exhibiting symptoms. Keeping distance between you will keep the germs from spreading. It is just as important to stay home, away from people when you are sick. Keeping the germs to yourself can help prevent the spread of the virus.

Cover Your Mouth and Nose

Whenever you cough or sneeze, it is vital to cover your mouth and nose to prevent the germs from flying through the air. A single cough can create thousands of droplets into the air that can travel up to 50 miles per hour. Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue is ideal, but if you don’t have time to grab one, you can also use the inside of your elbow. Avoid coughing into your hands or you will spread the germs to every surface you touch.

Wash Hands Properly

Proper handwashing thoroughly removes germs and bacteria. Soap and warm water are the best way to remove germs, but if they are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the next best option. Be sure to wash your palms, the back of your hands, and in between your fingers to remove of all the germs.

Clean and Disinfect Common Surfaces

Flu germs can live for up to 24 hours on surfaces, while the common cold can last up to seven days. In order to limit the spread of germs around your home, school, or office, surfaces need regular cleanings with products designed to kill them. Cleaning and sanitizing are two completely different actions. Cleaning takes the germs and dirt off of the surface while disinfecting actually kills the germs. Be sure to read the instructions on the product in order to obtain maximum results.

Don’t Share Personal Items

Personal items, such as toothbrushes, pillowcases, towels, and silverware are all carriers for germs. It is important to give everyone in your house their own separate set of personal items to avoid spreading the germs throughout household members. Regular washing of pillowcases and towels will also keep germs from building up.

If someone in the house is sick, store their toothbrush in a quarantined location that is not near any other toothbrushes. After the virus passes, throw it out and get a new brush. Don’t overlook this step – a germ-filled toothbrush can actually cause you or other members of your household to get sick all over again.

Prevention is the key to staying healthy this season. Taking these steps to prevent the spread of germs can help you protect yourself and your loved ones. Be sure to get your annual flu shot to minimize your risk of contracting the flu. Not only will it protect you, but it will also help protect those around you who may be at risk.

Additional Resources:


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