|Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then
touches their eyes, nose or mouth. Germs can live for a long time (some can live for 2 hours or more) on surfaces like
doorknobs, desks and tables.
Healthy habits can protect everyone from getting germs or spreading germs at home, school, or work. The following simple
actions can help protect yourself and others:
- Avoid close contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from
- Stay home when you are sick
If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your
- Cover your mouth and nose
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Place the tissue in a waste container and wash your
hands. These measures greatly reduce the spread of germs.
- Clean your hands
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
When to wash your hands:
- Before and after handling food.
- Before eating.
- After going to the restroom.
- After changing a baby’s diaper.
- After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
- After changing a litter box or touching an animal.
- After any other activity that seems dirty.
How to wash your hands:
- Vigorously rub hands together until a soapy lather appears, scrub between the fingers, under the fingernails, around
the top and palm of the hands, rinse under warm water and dry with a disposable towel. Then use the towel to turn off
the water faucet.
- When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth:
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes,
nose or mouth.