Wipe out germs before they spread



Although a clean bathroom is a health benefit anytime of the year, right now it’s particularly important to be vigilant about germs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the period when an infected person is contagious can depend on factors that include the age and health of the person. Although cold, flu and COVID-19 viruses primarily spread from person-to-person contact, you can also become infected from contact with contaminated surfaces. In addition to taking pre-cautions like masking and social distancing, a key to avoid becoming infected is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

If another member of your household is sick, extra vigilance is required. Here are some tips that can help:

• If there is more than one bathroom in the home, assign one exclusively to the sick person.

• Be sure all bathroom sinks, as well as the one in the kitchen, are well stocked with soap and paper towels.

• Add disinfectant wipes to your next-to-the-sink assortments. Encourage family members to use them to wipe down faucet handles and door knobs.

• Put alcohol-based sanitizers and other disinfectant wipes in the places where the sick person is pending time.

• Since dry skin is often a byproduct of dry weather and heated homes, a hand sanitizer with moisturizer can kill germs as well as keep hands soft.

For a full guide to cleaning when someone at home is sick, visit the CDC website.

Denise Schroeder is the health and human sciences extension educator for the White County Purdue Extension Office. She can be reached at schroedd@purdue.edu.

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