- Covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Sneeze or cough into your elbow, not your hands.
- Cleaning your hands often - always before you eat or prepare food, and after you use the bathroom or change a diaper
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth
Hand washing is one of the most effective and most overlooked ways to stop disease. Soap and water work well to kill germs. Wash for at least 20 seconds and rub your hands briskly. Disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers also work well.
- Germs: Learn How Germs Work and What You Can Do to Protect Yourself (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Hygiene Fast Facts: Information on Water-Related Hygiene (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Ounce of Prevention Keeps the Germs Away: Seven Keys to a Safer Healthier Home (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in Spanish
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Eight Ways to Guard Against Germs in Everyday Life (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation) - PDF
- Hand Washing: Do's and Dont's (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Stopping the Spread of Germs at Home, Work and School (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Germs and Staying Healthy (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation)
- Hand Sanitizers Carry Unproven Claims to Prevent MRSA Infections (Food and Drug Administration)
- Body Hygiene (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Clean Hands Save Lives: Emergency Situations (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Hygiene Etiquette: Coughing and Sneezing (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Steps of Healthy Swimming: Protection against Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Your Microbes and You (National Institutes of Health)
Statistics and Research
- Five Foul Things That Are Also Good for You (National Institute of General Medical Sciences)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Evaluation of water, sanitation and hygiene program outcomes shows knowledge-behavior...
- Article: Ozonated water is inferior to propanol-based hand rubs for disinfecting...
- Article: A Critical Appraisal of Control Strategies for Soil-Transmitted Helminths.
- Germs and Hygiene -- see more articles
- Douching (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)