Preventing transmission of viruses and bacteria
Certain viruses and bacteria are transmitted through close contact between people. Several situations increase such contacts, including the following:
- Living or working with other people
- Sharing items
- Giving care to a person
- Frequenting public areas
There are a number of measures that you can take to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria.
Measures to take
Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others. When a vaccine against an infection or a disease is available, get it.
Apply recognised hygiene measures
- Always keep your hands clean.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands. The nose, eyes and mouth are entry sites for viruses and bacteria.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth. These are entry points for viruses and bacteria.
- Avoid contact with people that are sick as they may be contagious. Do not get close to them and do not touch objects they have used, like their utensils for instance.
- Clean your surroundings regularly, as well as the sanitary appliances you use. For example, clean your counters and other surfaces that you touch often with your hands. Also wash toilets and sinks in order to keep them clean. Cleaning is very effective in killing viruses, which can survive on hard surfaces.
- Clean with soap and water or use domestic detergents.
When you are sick
- Avoid contact with more vulnerable people. For example, avoid visiting people in hospital, people living in extended care centres and people who have a chronic disease.
- Avoid direct contact when you greet someone, such as shaking hands.