Sneeze and Cough Etiquette and Definition

A method of personal hygiene to help prevent the spread of infection. Sneezing and coughing are among the mechanisms the body uses to expel bacterial and viral particles in illnesses such as colds and influenza.

However, these particles spread the infection to others who breathe them in with the air or touch surfaces on which they land. Health experts recommend these procedures to reduce the risk of spreading infection through sneezing and coughing:

  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue that covers the nose and mouth, then discard the tissue and wash the hands with soap and warm water.
  • Sneeze or cough into the crook of the arm, which is less likely to be a point of contact with surfaces and other people.
  • Avoid shaking hands with other people during illnesses that cause sneezing or coughing.

See also BACTERIA; VIRUS.

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