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HandwashingPrevention & Treatment: Good Hygiene

How to Prevent Spreading Germs and Getting the Flu

Developing good personal hygiene habits will help prevent sickness throughout the year as well as during a pandemic. Learning healthy behavior in advance will help make life during a pandemic a little more manageable.

Here are steps you can take to limit the spread of germs:

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. You should scrub your hands for as long as it takes you to sing "Happy Birthday" twice, about 20 seconds. If you are not near soap and water, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Dry your hands thoroughly with a paper towel and use it to turn off the water. Using a shared towel can spread germs.
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve if you do not have a tissue. Try not to cough into your hands because this spreads germs more easily. If you use a tissue to cough or sneeze into, throw it away immediately.
  • Stay home from work and/or school when you are sick. This may spare your co-workers and classmates from getting sick too.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Often germs are spread by touching something contaminated and transferring them to your face.
  • Clean surfaces in your house with bleach water or store bought disinfectant. Mix 10 parts water to one part bleach and scrub countertops, sinks, doorknobs and light switches.

Additional resources for parents, teachers and kids can be found at the Scrub Club (Site exit link), a fun, interactive and educational website.

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