How can I protect myself from respiratory infections?
There are several ways that you can protect yourself from getting a respiratory infection:
1. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Never touch your face with dirty hands.
2.Wash your hands frequently. Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations.
3.Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean your hands if soap and water are not available.
4. Get a flu shot every year. Encourage your family and friends to get a flu shot too!
5. Ask your healthcare provider if the pneumonia vaccine is right for you.
6. Avoid being close to people who are coughing and sneezing.
Who is at Higher Risk?
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
How COVID-19 Spreads
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
I Have Symptoms, What Should I Do?
Follow the steps below:
If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.
Stay home except to get medical care
Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
What are social distancing measures?
Social distancing measures are taken to restrict when and where people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing measures include limiting large groups of people coming together, closing buildings and canceling events.
Why is hand washing so important?
Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. ... Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because: People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it.
Why is not touching your face so important?
It is estimated that people touch their faces about 23 times per hour! Respiratory infections can be caused by many different bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing germs. When you touch your face with dirty, unwashed hands, germs can take up residence in your mucous membranes which can lead to an infection.
How are respiratory infections spread? Respiratory infections, like pneumonia or the flu, can spread through droplets in the air when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or talks near you. Respiratory infections can also spread by direct contact with bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing germs. When we touch people who are sick, or touch dirty surfaces, we contaminate our hands with germs. We can then infect ourselves with those germs by touching our face.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.