The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the CDC, lists proper handwashing, respiratory hygiene and cough formalities as important points for preventing the spread of disease in the guidelines for infection control. Additionally, the use of personal protective equipment, such as gloves, facemasks and gowns are advised to reduce exposure to infectious materials.
Guidelines are issued by the CDC to teach both citizens and health care workers standard practices to use in an effort to reduce the transmission of infectious disease. Proper hand hygiene and handwashing are important to disinfect hands and minimize the spread of infection. In particular, it is important to wash hands thoroughly for 15 seconds with soap and water, ensuring that all surfaces are washed. After using the toilet, handwashing is essential to make sure that the hands are free of germs from bodily fluids. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers can provide additional protection.
Isolating and properly caring for those with respiratory infections in a health care facility is another important measure outlined in the CDC guidelines. Patients who have or are suspected of having a respiratory illness should wear a facemask and cough or sneeze into a tissue. Proper disposal of used tissues and facemasks further promotes infection control. During flu season, this becomes even more important to minimize the spread of the disease.