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Whether you’re the one who is sick or if it’s a family member/roommate, here are some ways to help stop germs from spreading when dealing with the common cold.
- Wash your hands thoroughly on a regular basis. The CDC has reported that close to 80% of infectious diseases are spread through touching. Germs from the common cold can easily spread onto hands, and then onto the eyes and mouth. Wash your hands several times during the day and make sure those living with you, especially those who are sick, are also washing their hands. Using soap and water, scrub for at least 20 seconds and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer in between washes.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing. No, not with your hands – this can cause germs to spread. Instead, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue.
- Disinfect all surfaces. Germs from the common cold can survive on surfaces for hours. Clean all surfaces, especially tabletops, doorknobs, remote controls, and toys using disinfectant wipes or sprays. You can also make your own mix of ¼ cup bleach and 1 gallon of warm water.
- Use disposable items until you’re no longer sick. Don’t share utensils, cups, plates, etc., while sick. Use paper products until sickness has subsided.
- Take proper care of yourself. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest each night, and try to reduce your levels of stress as much as possible. All of this can help keep our immune systems strong.