Communicable Diseases

Communicable diseases
"Communicable diseases (infectious diseases) are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi; the diseases can be spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another." (CDC)

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

Hand washing

How to wash hands properly:

  • Rinse Hands with warm water.
  • Using anti-bacterial soap, rub hands together vigorously for 20 seconds. (Hepful Tip: Sing the ABCs once or Happy Birthday two times!)
  • Rinse hands under warm water for 10 seconds
  • Prior to turning off the sink, dry your hands with paper towels and then use the paper towels to turn off the sink to prevent recontamination.
  • Throw away the paper towel in the proper waste bin

#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

If you are sick, the air that comes out of your mouth when you cough or sneeze may contain germs. Someone close by can breathe in your air, or touch a surface contaminated with your germs, and become ill. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your shirt sleeve-not into your hands. Remember to throw away the tissue and wash your hands.

#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. 

#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 to your friends, coworkers, or professorss.