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5 ways that good hygiene can reduce the spread of infection

COVID-19 spreads primarily through close contact with someone who is infected, but it can also spread if you touch contaminated objects and surfaces. So good hygiene is critical to protect yourself and others from the virus.
18 Mar 2020

COVID-19 spreads primarily through close contact with someone who is infected, but it can also spread if you touch contaminated objects and surfaces. So good hygiene is critical to protect yourself and others from the virus.

Wash your hands frequently. Especially whenever you leave or enter a building, before or after cooking and eating, or after touching surfaces or objects outside your house. Use soap and warm water and wash well for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

Clean other objects and your surroundings frequently. Objects, especially objects outside the house or things that get touched often – like computers, door knobs, pens and phones – can spread infection. Keep them clean with antibacterial spray.

Avoid touching your face and eyes. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean. This will be difficult because as humans we’re hardwired to touch our faces a lot. So when you aren’t able to easily wash your hands, make sure you are applying hand sanitiser regularly while you’re outside your home.

Cough and sneeze into a tissue. Then throw it away. If you don’t have one, use a handkerchief and wash it, or use your armpit or elbow. Wash your hands afterwards!

Put used tissues in the bin immediately. Then wash your hands again! Don’t leave them lying around or in your pocket.

Of course the best way to reduce catching or spreading infection is to stay at home as much as possible and avoid contact with others - especially elderly people. Remember whenever you need a GP and can’t leave home, you can usually get an appointment with a Livi GP in minutes.

Reviewed by: Hemal Shah, Lead GP Livi

Last updated:
18 Mar 2020

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