Stop the spread of germs that make you and others sick: Cover Your Cough
Why should I cover my cough?
Serious respiratory illnesses like influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are spread by:
- Coughing or sneezing
- Unclean hands
These illnesses spread easily in crowded places where people are in close contact.
How do I stop the spread of germs if I am sick?
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue every time you cough or sneeze.
- Throw the used tissue in a waste basket.
- If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
- After coughing or sneezing, always clean your hands with soap & water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Do not share eating utensils, drinking glasses, towels or other personal items.
How can I stay healthy?
- Clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, if possible.
- Get vaccinated! Influenza (flu) and pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccines can prevent some serious respiratory illnesses.
When you are at the clinic or hospital:
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and dispose of the used tissue in the waste basket.
- Clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- You may also be asked to wear a mask to protect others.
MDH Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division.