How can I keep from getting a healthcare-associated infection?

  1. Clean your hands with soap and warm water and rub well for 15 seconds:
    • Before touching or eating food
    • After using the bathroom, taking out trash, changing a diaper
    • After visiting someone who is ill
    • After playing with a pet
  1. Make sure health care providers clean their hands or wear gloves.
    • Doctors, nurses, dentists and other health care providers come into contact with lots of bacteria and viruses. So before they treat you, ask them if they’ve cleaned their hands.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask them if they should wear gloves when performing tasks such as taking blood, touching wounds, or examining your mouth or private parts.
  1. Cover your mouth and nose.
    • When you sneeze or cough, the germs can travel 3 feet or more!
    • Use a tissue and clean your hands after coughing or sneezing.
    • No tissue? Cover your mouth and nose with the bend of your elbow. If you use your hands – clean them right away.
  1. If you are sick, avoid close contact with others.
    • Stay home
    • Don’t shake hands or touch others
    • When you go for treatment, call ahead and let them know you are ill.
  1. Get shots to avoid disease and fight the spread of infection.
    • Make sure that your vaccinations are current—even for adults. Check with your doctor about shots you may need. Vaccinations are available to prevent many diseases.

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