The vintage British poster from World War II seen in this page shows that coughing and sneezing have long been public health concerns. Today, we know that handkerchiefs aren’t always the best way to handle coughing and sneezing!  A critical time to speak about how to stop spreading diseases will be now since there are some horrible influenza viruses spreading, making people sick.

According to the health professionals, practicing good hygiene etiquette, especially when coughing or sneezing is very important to prevent these viruses from spreading.  Healthcare professionals say that serious respiratory illnesses like influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), whooping cough, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are spread mainly by coughing or sneezing and unclean hands when you touch your face after touching contaminated objects and touch objects after contaminating your hands.

To help stop the spread of germs cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Put the used tissue in a dustbin and if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Also, remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing with soap and water.

Keeping our hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean running water. If clean running water is not accessible, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol to clean hands.

Another important practice that helps prevent the spread of respiratory disease is avoiding close contact with sick people. If you are not well and it’s a disease which can spread, you should try to distance yourself from others so you do not spread germs. Distancing includes staying home from school.

Protect yourself from germs. Tell your friends and family how to protect them from the spreading diseases. Stay healthy. Health is wealth after all!

With love,
Aunty Kusum