Are You Covering Up Your Coughs and Sneezes the Right Way?

More than ever, covering your cough and sneeze the right way is essential. Whether you're sick or not, your sneezes spread germs, and it’s best to cover them the correct way to prevent spreading illness...

Coronavirus is spreading significantly not just in the UK but across the globe. According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson: 'The most important thing now is that we prepare against a possible very significant expansion of coronavirus in the UK population.'

PM Johnson said that 'further protective measures' against the spread of the disease would be announced 'as and when that spread happens'.

'Don't forget the importance of washing your hands'

One small detail he added that is absolutely crucial to fighting against the spread against the illness is consistent hand washing. It turns out most of us use our hand to cough or sneeze, and it's far from the best way to deal with respiratory issues. James Mamary, MD, a pulmonologist with Temple Lung Center at Temple University Health System in Philadelphia, says:

It's our responsibility to cover mouth and nose so those droplets don't go into the air... so they don't spread to other people.

Our hands are the best way to spread germs: whether it's via your computer, phone, doorknobs or anyone you touch. It is advised to use your sleeve. In the event that you're wearing a shirt with no sleeve, the best option is to cough or sneeze in your elbow. Although this isn't the best way to keep your germs from travelling, there is less risk of contamination.

You can also use a single-use tissue, then immediately throw it away. Be sure to properly wash your hands afterwards, with soaps, plenty of friction and warm water for at least 30 seconds.

Globally, about 86,000 people have been infected with Coronavirus, with cases in more than 50 countries. More than 3,000 people have died - the vast majority in China's Hubei province (specifically Wuhan), where the outbreak originated in December.

HSE is working closely with the DHSC, PHE and other government departments to provide support when it’s needed, including technical advice on the protection of workers. Check GOV.UK for the latest information from the UK government.

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