We are close to that season of the year where people would be coughing and sneezing during which there is high tendency to transfer germs to people around them. Coughing and sneezing etiquette refers to simple clean practices people can take to prevent passing on respiratory infections like cold and flu to other people. When you are down with common cold or flu and you cough or sneeze, you release respiratory droplets into the air. These droplets may land on other people’s hands, hard surfaces where the microorganism can survive for hours. When someone touches the surface, the virus will be transferred to their hand and when the hand touches the face and infection can occur.
As kids, we told told that when coughing or sneezing we should cover our mouth with our hands. This is a wrong practice that aids the transfer of these organism. I will share with you simple coughing and sneezing etiquette that you should practice.
1. Cover your cough and sneeze
Do you cover your mouth and nose with your hand when you cough or sneeze? Stop it! Make use of a disposable tissue to cover your mouth or nose if possible. If a cough or sneeze comes up on you unexpectedly and no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your elbow. This prevents your hands becoming contaminated with cold or flu viruses.
2.Dispose or clean contaminated products immediately
Dispose used tissue immediately into a waste bin. Also, contaminated surfaces coughed into like the table should be cleaned properly.
3. Practice proper hands hygiene
Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing with soap and water if possible. Also wash your hand after touching a contaminated products. Hand sanitizers containing water can be used if soap and water is not available.
4. Avoid touching your face
Avoid touching your face with hands if there is incidence of contamination. This is because of the mucous membranes in the face which can be easily infected.
5. Avoid contact with people
When you are down with common cold or flu, you can avoid contact with people to prevent its spread.
Always remember that you should not cough or sneeze into your hands but your elbow when tissue is not available!