Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Cover Your Cough

Cover Your Cough

Influenza and other serious respiratory illnesses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by cough, sneezing or unclean hands.

A few simple steps can help stop the spread of germs that can make you and others sick.

To help stop the spread of germs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you:
  • 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 or elbow, not your hands
  • You may be asked to put on a facemask to protect others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel
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