Prevent Infections at Home
Prevent infections and keep yourself and others healthy with simple everyday actions.
Wash Your Hands
To avoid spreading germs, clean your hands regularly. Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:
- Before eating
- After coughing or sneezing
- After using the bathroom
- After taking out the trash
Keep Your Skin Healthy
Your skin is your armor against harmful bacteria. Use moisturizer to protect it from dryness and cracking. Clean cuts, scratches and wounds, and protect them with a clean, dry bandage. If you have cuts or sores that aren’t healing, call your primary care provider.
Practice Good Gym Hygiene
To prevent your workout from making you sick:
- Clean exercise equipment with antibacterial wipes before and after each use.
- Clean personal protective equipment, such as helmets and jock straps, with antibacterial wipes after each use. Never share personal equipment.
- Shower after working out and use a clean towel to dry off.
- Wear sandals in the locker room to prevent foot infections.
When You’re Sick, Stay Home
Avoid close contact with others when you’re ill. Stay home from work or school and steer clear of crowds. Don’t shake hands or touch others, and always cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Use Antibiotics Responsibly
Take antibiotics only when they’re the most appropriate treatment for your bacterial infection. Follow your doctor’s directions and always complete the full course of treatment. Stopping early may allow the infection to return even stronger.
Tips for Preventing the Spread of MRSA or VRE
If you’re caring for a friend or family member with a MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) or VRE (vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus) infection, follow these tips to lower your risk of developing an infection:
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after direct contact with your loved one, and before leaving home.
- Use disposable gloves when providing care if you expect contact with body fluids. Always wash your hands after removing the gloves.
- Regularly clean the house, including furniture used by your loved one, using normal household cleaning products.
- Wash towels after each use.