When it’s the season for Cold and Flu, and if someone in your home has a cold or the flu, chances are that everyone else who hasn’t caught it yet, is scared of catching it!

Here are several ways to limit the spread of germs:


Coughing and Sneezing Habits

Colds and flu are spread mostly by direct contact. When a sick person coughs or sneezes, virus droplets can travel 6 feet or more.

The sick person should either:

Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue and put the tissue in the trash right away.

Cough or sneeze into the crook of their elbow — not their hand — if they don’t have a tissue. That means fewer germs get on their hands, which means they’re less likely to spread their germs through touch.


Wash Your Hands Often

Washing your hands is the best way to keep from catching a cold and is one of the best ways to prevent getting a cold or the flu.

Simply running your hands under water doesn’t really work. The mechanics of the hand-washing make all the difference.

One trick is to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice while you scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. The forceful rubbing is the most important part in getting rid of the germs. It should take about 20 seconds.

Wash your hands after handling any item the sick person may have touched, like a dish, cup, or towel.

Don’t touch your face unless you’ve just washed your hands.


Create a Sick Room

Some cold and flu viruses can live on skin and other things a sick person might touch — doorknobs, remote controls, faucet handles — for up to 8 hours. And it would be hard for a healthy person to avoid touching all of those things.

Set aside a room for whoever is sick. The sick person can stay there while getting better. Set up the room with everything they might need, like tissues, medicine, a thermometer, and a pitcher or cooler with drinks.

Ideally, just one person would take care of the sick one. Everyone else should stay out of the sick room. No one goes in there to visit or watch TV. That’s a very simple way to contain a virus.


Separate Germs in the Bathroom

If you have more than one bathroom, reserve one just for the sick person. Tell family members to use the other bathroom. If you’re all sharing one bathroom, give whoever is sick a separate towel and washcloth.


Sanitize Shared Items

If you can’t avoid sharing doorknobs and other household items, clean before you touch them. If you want, use a cleaner with ingredients that can kill flu viruses, like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, antiseptics with iodine, and alcohol. But good old soap and water also work well.


Take Good Care of Yourself

Be conscious about getting enough sleep, adequate nutrition, and staying hydrated.

Sources include:

Purell Sanitizer: Kills 99 99% of most common germs

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