6 Ways To Limit Spread Of Cold Or Flu Germs From A Sick Person


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: WebMD.com

Purell Sanitizer: Kills 99 99% of most common germs


  1. several years ago our entire family started the procedure (pretty much automatic now), that when we return to our home, from anywhere
    we wash our hands.

  2. Hand sanitizer when you get in the car after shopping is a good habit; also after touching the key pad of the ATM and gas pump, Sanitize!

    I read somewhere that the typical cell phone is as viral as any toilet. Sanitizing wipes every day will help keep you healthy.

  3. With flu and other viruses, you are contagious days before you show any symptoms. So, hand washing and other habits to protect others should be practiced all the time. There is a study that showed one of the filthiest objects you touch is a gas pump handle! I always use a paper towel to protect my hands when pumping gas. My personal opinion is that grocery store carts are nasty with germs and viruses… think about it, what’s the first thing most people do when they think they’re getting sick? They run to the grocery store for necessities – when they’re most contagious.

  4. I try and not shake hands with people as often during the flu season, especially those that I know well or see often. A doctor told me years ago that if people stopped the hand-shaking ritual, we would all be healthier.

  5. I have a different take on flu. The flu season is at it’s worst in winter, so I use gloves at the gas pumps and inside shopping. When I get home, I take off the gloves like they are blood-borne contaminated, and set them aside for 48+ hours. I use other gloves for work around the home.

    If people at a store sneezes or coughs, I quit breathing to hold my breath and move far away from them and wait for a few minutes for the flu particles to settle to go back in that area of the store. I also go when there are the fewest people at stores and businesses in winter.

    I also take Vitamin C to keep my resistance up. I am having trouble remembering since I had the full blown flu, it probably was in the early 90’s. I have stopped symptoms taking 1000 mg of C every hour for 4 hours at the first sign of a sore throat/fever and it went away. It also worked on regular cold symptoms and tonsillitis when I caught it early. I would gross everyone out if I told how it stopped the tonsillitis.

    I’ve been doing these Vitamin C doses since 1972, but there were times I had no access to C in the early stages of a virus and suffered the sickness. I know even going through the disease helps build antibodies to fight off the next virus, and it is an exercise for the immune system if one is healthy.

  6. I added a self dispensing box of baby butt wipes to my everyday car preps …. every time I return to the car that included shaking hands,handling money, touching door knobs and especially shopping carts – I wipe my hands down …. cut colds down to very few and serious stuff like flu out completely ….

  7. Since I work on refrigeration equipment at your local grocery store. I can’t stress how important hand washing is. Even the cleanest looking store, is a breeding ground for all kinds of infections.

    And in general hand washing is just a good practice, if everybody had good hand washing habits. It would decrease flu and colds alone.
    The school system is proof in itself!

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