Respiratory Etiquette: Keeping Infectious Diseases At Bay Do you know your respiratory etiquette? It includes simple actions and basic good health manners to prevent the spread of disease, says Luningning Villa, M.D., medical specialist IV of the Department of Health’s National Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
Many infectious diseases are contracted through droplets coming from the mouth and nose of an infected person. These diseases, which can be passed by coughing, sneezing or talking, include influenza, the common cold, pneumonia, bacterial meningitis, whooping cough, SARS, measles and chicken pox.
The DOH has issued guidelines on respiratory etiquette amid the threat of a bird flu pandemic and the possible transfer of the avian flu through human contact.
Start practicing respiratory etiquette today:
1. If sick, stay home to prevent passing on the virus-causing disease, or at least observe a one-meter distance from others. 2. Don’t share utensils, drinking glasses, towels, or other personal items, even when not ill. 3. Ideally, cover your mouth and nose with tissue or hanky whenever you sneeze, cough, or blow your nose. At the least, cover them with your hand, or cough into your sleeve. 4. Always wash your hands with soap and water before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth and when shaking hands. When there’s no water, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will do. 5. Don’t spit on the floor or on the street. If this is unavoidable, spit into a trash bin or a small plastic bag. 6. Throw used tissue or plastic bags in the trash can. Wash used hankies separately from other clothing.
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