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Hamilton Health Sciences Home
December 20, 2016

How to cover your cough

“Cover your cough!” We’ve all heard the reminder from a parent, coworker or teacher. But over the years, the proper protocol for covering your mouth has changed, and using your hand is a big no-no.

When you cough or sneeze into your hand, you are filling it with germs that are likely to spread further when you touch something or someone. As those germs continue to spread between people and objects, so does the chance that they’ll catch your illness.

Learn the basics from a trusted source. Dr. Dominik Mertz, medical director of infection control at Hamilton Health Sciences, shares the right way to cover your mouth so you can keep your germs to yourself.

How to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing:

  1. Never cough into your bare hand!
  2. Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  3. Dispose of the tissue immediately. Don’t save it for later.
  4. If you don’t have a tissue, tuck your nose and mouth into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  5. Wash your hands thoroughly and often, using soap and water or hand sanitizer