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Preventing the Spread of Contagious Diseases

Protect Yourself with Healthy Habits

Healthy habits prevent germs and infectious diseases from spreading. Learn, practice, and teach healthy habits.

  • #1 Handle & Prepare Food Safely
    Food can carry germs. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces often when preparing any food, especially raw meat. Always wash fruits and vegetables. Cook and keep foods at proper temperatures. Don't leave food out - refrigerate promptly.

  • # 2 Wash Hands Often
    Learn how, when, and why to wash your hands.

  • #3 Clean & Disinfect Commonly Used Surfaces
    Germs can live on surfaces. Cleaning with soap and water is usually enough. However, you should disinfect your bathroom and kitchen regularly. Disinfect other areas if someone in the house is ill. You can use an EPA certified disinfectant (look for the EPA registration number on the label), bleach solution, or rubbing alcohol.

  • #4 Cough & Sneeze Into Your Sleeve
    Learn how and when to cover your cough and sneeze.

  • #5 Don't Share Personal Items
    Avoid sharing personal items that can't be disinfected, like toothbrushes and razors, or sharing towels between washes. Needles should never be shared, should only be used once, and then thrown away properly.

  • #6 Get Vaccinated
    Vaccines can prevent many infectious diseases. You should get some vaccinations in childhood, some as an adult, and some for special situations like pregnancy and travel. Make sure you and your family are up-to-date on your vaccinations. If your regular doctor does not offer the vaccine you need, visit the Adult Immunization and Travel Clinic.

  • #7 Avoid Touching Wild Animals
    You and your pets should avoid touching wild animals which can carry germs that cause infectious diseases. If you are bitten, talk to your doctor. Make sure that your pet's vaccinations are up-to-date.

  • #8 Stay Home
    When Sick When you are sick, stay home and rest. You will get well sooner, and will not spread germs.

Download the CDC Infectious Disease Prevention Brochure