Oregon State University

Preventative Measures

How do you keep from spreading germs through coughing or sneezing?

If you are sick, limit your contact with other people as much as possible, and stay home until fever is gone for 24 hours (without being on fever reducing medicines). Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Put used tissue in a waste basket. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

Major world health organizations, including the CDC, recommend practicing good hygiene, which includes hand-washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, as a method in helping prevent the spread of germs. To help prevent the spread of germs, take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective; however wash your hands with soap and water whenever possible.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home until your fever is gone for 24 hours (without being on fever reducing medicines). This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.
  • Other recommendations include a general, good hygiene approach consisting of:
    • Maintaining a clean environment by cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
    • Avoid sharing food and drink.