Everyday Prevention Against Viruses

Easy Steps You Should Take When There's a Viral Outbreak
a man washing his hands thoroughly

Playing a good defense against viruses is your best bet for staying healthy. Here are some top tips.

How to Limit the Spread of Viruses

  • Avoid Contact with Sick People

    Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Think of the virus as an amazing basketball player who can fly through the air before doing a slam dunk. Unfortunately respiratory droplets from people sick with coronavirus are like that basketball player. If they’re within six feet of you, their respiratory droplets can do a slam dunk on your body.

  • Don't Touch Your Face

    If a person infected with COVID-19 touches a surface, and then you touch that surface and then your face, you’ve just escorted the virus into your own body. Try to stop touching your face. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Once you’re aware that you shouldn’t touch your face, you might be amazed at how much you do so.

    One tip recommended by the New York Times is to keep a box of tissues handy. When you need to touch your face, grab a tissue and then touch your face through the tissue.

  • Take Sick Days If You Need To

    When you are sick, stay home to prevent potentially exposing others.

  • Use Tissues

    Cover coughs and sneezes with tissue, and then dispose of the tissue.

  • Disinfect Surfaces

    Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces, such as countertops, light switches, door handles, cabinet handles, and screens.

  • Wash Your Hands

    Amp up your hand-washing game. Wash hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. This is especially important after using the bathroom, before you eat, and after you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose.

    If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

Do You Need a Facemask?

If you are not sick, avoid using a facemask. Facemasks should be used only by people displaying symptoms of COVID-19, healthcare workers, and caretakers.

Click to See Our Sources

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” Centers for Disease Control, www.CDC.gov

How to stop touching your face” by Jenny Gross, www.NYTimes.com, 3/5/20

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Lynn Tryba

Chief Content Officer

Lynn aims to empower people to make informed decisions about their health and wellness by presenting the latest research on exercise, nutrients, and supplements in reader-friendly ways. She has a deep respect for the power of food as preventive medicine and believes that small steps in the right direction make a big difference.