How can you lower your risk for infection? There are recommended prevention strategies, including the following.
1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid contamination from other people’s hands, door handles, table surfaces, and so on. Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol when you are unable to wash your hands.
2. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth, or putting inanimate objects in your mouth such as pens and pencils or sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses.
3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Send a text or email or chat by phone. If someone is sick in your own home, ask them stay in their own room as much as possible, away from other family members. Stay at home if you are sick and take precautions to avoid sharing your germs with other people and pets. If you have pets, wash your hands after touching them, and keep them away from your face to avoid their licking.
4. Maintain a social distance of six-feet from others. Nod and smile but avoid handshakes, hugs, kisses, and even fist bumps or elbow rubs because that involves close contact. This includes avoiding all nonessential travel and crowds of people, as well as even smaller groups of people where you are unable to maintain a six-foot social distance.
5. Sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow. If tissue is easily available, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw it into the trash immediately.
6. Disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
7. If you develop symptoms and need to seek medical care, call ahead to the office, urgent care, or Emergency Department first—before going there. Describe your symptoms and follow the instructions you receive.