ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cover Your Cough to Prevent the Spread of Germs

Updated on August 28, 2011

How to Cough to Prevent the Spread of Germs

Serious respiratory illnesses like the H!N1 influenza (or Swine Flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by coughing or sneezing.

Many people will cough or sneeze into their hands and then not wash their hands, so that the germs and the viruses can be transmitted by touching someone's hands, touching something or using something that has been used by someone who is sick.

With the recent outbreaks and concerns about the H1N1 virus causing influenza or Swine Flu, it is important that people know how to cough correctly.

Let's take a look at ways you can cough safely and not spread germs.

Image Source: CDC. Social Media Tools for Consumers and Partners. Government Website.

What is a Cough?

A Cough (noun) is a sudden noisy expulsion of air from the lungs that clears the air passages. It is a common symptom of upper respiratory infection or bronchitis or pneumonia or tuberculosis

To Cough (verb) is to exhale abruptly [suddenly and forcefully], as when one has a chest cold or congestion.

Source: WordNet Search - 3.0. Cough. Princeton.edu

Image: Cloodlebing. Cough Manners. Creative Commons.

Cough Demonstration on YouTube

This silent video is of a "Visual Demonstration of Respiratory Particle Dispersal During Human Cough" prepared by the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences as part of their Center for Health Hazard Preparedness.

They give you a good idea how far particles of cough can travel and how germs get spread.

Respiratory particles disperse

widely during a Human Cough.

Cough: Causes, Mechanisms and Therapy in the Amazon Spotlight

Cough: Causes, Mechanisms and Therapy
Cough: Causes, Mechanisms and Therapy

Cough: Causes, Mechanisms and Therapy is the most comprehensive, up-to-date account of the subject.

The textbook updates clinical and basic medical scientists, and promote future research.

 

How to Cough and Clean Your Hands Afterwards

1. Cough to help stop the spread of germs:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put your used tissue in the wastebasket.
  • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • You may be asked to put on a surgical mask to protect others.

2. Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing:

  • Wash with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cover Your Cough.

Stop the spread of germs

that make you and others sick!

Cover Your Cough or Sneeze on YouTube

Covering a sneeze with your arm can also help you fit in at work, as this ad from a new media campaign by the Florida Department of Health.

Cough in Your Sleeve

How to Cough in Your Sleeve

Recommendations from the CDC on ways to cough so that you help stop the spread of germs include:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Put your used tissue in a waste basket.
  • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.
  • Do not cough or sneeze into your hands.
Source:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cover Your Cough.

Image: Bus Ad Campaign. Health Department uses bus ads to promote respiratory etiquette. Clark County Health Department.

Why don't we do it in our sleeves?

A video produced by OtoRhinoLounsburgology Productions in conjunction with the Main Medical Association, Central Maine Medical Center and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center that answers the questions, Why don't we do it in our sleeves?

Recommended by Health Care Providers to encourage people to cough properly and decrease the spread of the flu.

Cover Your Cough at Work

Image: Cover Coughs and Sneezes. Florida Department of Public Health.

Put coughs where they belong

in a tissue, or your arm.

Airborne Microorganisms in a Sneeze

Image: Jim Deacon. The Microbial World: Airborne Microorganisms. Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, The University of Edinburgh, Slide Collection.

The Story Behind the Sleeve on YouTube

An entertaining video from the Group Health Communications Class 2008 at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Cover Your Cough - Community Settings

Cover Your Cough - Community Settings
Cover Your Cough - Community Settings

Brochures and Posters on Cover Your Cough

A Collection of downloadable brochures and posters on Cover Your Cough.

Teaching Children How to Cover a Cough

How to Teach a Child to Cough

Teaching a child to cough is much like teaching an adult to cough--parents, teachers and other providers need to emphasize covering the cough and washing hands.

1. When Coughing or Sneezing:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.
  • Put your used tissue in the wastebasket.
  • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.
  • Do not cough or sneeze into your hands.
2. Make sure to clean your hands after coughing or sneezing:

  • Wash with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cover Your Cough.

Image Source: CDC. Social Media Tools for Consumers and Partners. Government Website.

Fighting the Invisible, Disgusting Germs

Source: Those Mean Nasty Dirty Downright Disgusting but...Invisible Germs. Available on Amazon

Those Mean Nasty Dirty Downright Disgusting but...Invisible Germs in the Amazon Spotlight

Those Mean Nasty Dirty Downright Disgusting but...Invisible Germs / Esos desagradables detestables sucios completamente asquerosos pero... invisibles ... y español) (English and Spanish Edition)
Those Mean Nasty Dirty Downright Disgusting but...Invisible Germs / Esos desagradables detestables sucios completamente asquerosos pero... invisibles ... y español) (English and Spanish Edition)

This is one of my daughters favorite books on germs.

It is one that my Mom used when teaching preschool and still uses when she volunteers in the classroom.

A fun way to get children thinking about germs.

 

Cover Your Cough - Health Care Settings

Cover Your Cough - Health Care Settings
Cover Your Cough - Health Care Settings

Enter a Phlegm-Free Zone

Source: Florida Department of Public Health.

Cover Your Cough Bus Ads

Image Source: Bus Ad Campaign. Health Department uses bus ads to promote respiratory etiquette. Clark County Health Department.

Bus Ads Used to Promote Respiratory Etiquette

  • If we can get people to change their coughing, sneezing, and hand washing habits now, we will be that much better off should we find ourselves in a pandemic flu situation at some point.
John Wiesman

Health Department Director

Thanks for covering your cough.

And sneezes too.

Will you be coughing differently now after reading this lens?

Comments on Cover Your Cough

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

      OUTFOXprevention1 5 years ago

      We love the lens! A lot less illness and disease would be spread if everyone would cover their coughs!

    • profile image

      howtostopacough 5 years ago

      Very nice lens, just t o add up.. Avoid sugar and junk food. By loading up on junk food you are making your body weak and vulnerable to diseases. Have fresh fruits and vegetables so that your immune system is strong and prepared. Avoid sweet foods as well. It may irritate your tonsils and thus lead to coughing. The most important note on how to stop a cough is to stop smoking and stay away from second-hand smoke. Smoke of cigarette irritates your throat consequently worsens coughing.