Covering Coughs

Put coughs where they belong—in a tissue, or your arm.

Bare hands make bad tissues. You use them to shake hands, open doors and do many other things that can spread germs.

Why are people so concerned that every cough or sneeze is covered?

The spray from coughing and sneezing spreads germs that can lead to serious respiratory illnesses like influenza (that's the flu), whooping cough, the common cold, tuberculosis, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and many other respiratory viruses.

What's the best way to cover a cough or sneeze?

Using a tissue, then personally throwing the tissue away. If there is no tissue at hand, use the crook of your elbow, not a bare hand. Hands touch many things, including other people, and are prime territory for spreading germs.

Click here to learn more about seasonal flu and pandemic flu.