Things You Can Do to Help Prevent the Spread of Germs


My MedlinePlus

March 11, 2020

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female doctor examines female teenage soccer player with a headache

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a bump, blow, jolt, or other head injury causes damage to the brain. Concussions are a mild type of TBI. Find out more about who is at higher risk, symptoms, and prevention and treatment.

Things You Can Do to Help Prevent the Spread of Germs

When you cough or sneeze, you send tiny germ-filled droplets into the air. Colds and flu usually spread this way. Here are things you can do to help prevent the spread of germs:

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Sneeze or cough into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Cleaning your hands often – always before you eat or prepare food, and after you use the bathroom or change a diaper.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Hand washing is one of the most effective ways to stop disease. Soap and water work well to kill germs. Wash for at least 20 seconds and rub your hands briskly. Disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers also work well.

Kidney Stones

A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in the kidney from substances in the urine. Most pass out of the body without help from a doctor. If a stone does not pass on its own and gets stuck in the urinary tract, you may need treatment. Learn the signs of kidney stones and how they are treated.

Nutrition for Older Adults

Eating healthy is important for everyone, no matter what stage of life you are in. But as you age, your body and life change, and so does what you need to stay healthy. For example, you may need fewer calories, but you still need to get enough nutrients. Certain foods may be better to help prevent diabetes, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. Learn more about nutrition for older adults.


Pneumonia is an infection in one or both of the lungs. Many germs, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, can cause pneumonia. You can also get pneumonia by inhaling a liquid or chemical. People most at risk are older than 65 or younger than 2 years of age, or already have health problems. Learn more about preventing pneumonia and available vaccines.

Leek and Mushroom Orzo

Try Leek and Mushroom Orzo as a quick one dish vegetarian meal or side dish.