Keep Your Germs to Yourself!

Simple actions, like cleaning your hands often, can stop flu germs, cold!

Your hands may look clean, but they have germs on them that could make you or someone else sick. Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds to protect yourself from germs and avoid spreading them to others. Carry an alcoholbased hand rub (also called hand sanitizer) to use when soap and water are not available.

Always wash your hands:

  • After blowing your nose coughing or sneezing.
  • After using the bathroom.
  • After being near someone who is ill.
  • After touching handrails or other things handled by many people.
  • Before and after eating or drinking.
  • Before handling food.
  • After handling garbage or trash.

How to wash your hands:

  • Wet your hands with warm running water.
  • Lather with soap and scrub between fingers, on the backs of your hands, and under nails.
  • Wash for at least 20 seconds That's about as long as it takes to sing "Happy Birthday twice.
  • Dry your hands. Use paper towels or electric hand dryers.
  • Use a paper towel when you turn off the tap.

How to use alcohol-based hand rub:

  • Dispense alcohol-based hand rub into palm of hand.
  • Rub hands together working the gel between your fingers under nails and back of hands.
  • Continue rubbing hands until hands are dry.
  • Do not rinse hands or dry hands with a paper towel.

Please keep your germs to yourself We'll all feel better!

Coughing and of Health sneezing spread flu germs to everyone around you Cover up to stop the flu virus!

Look—no hands!

Never cough or sneeze into your bare hand Use a tissue to avoid spreading germs to everything you touch Then, throw the tissue into the trash.

Don't have a tissue handy?

Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm It may feel strange at first, but soon it will come naturally.

"Respiratory etiquette" made simple:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you don't have a tissue cough or sneeze into your upper arm, not your hands.
  • Put your used tissues in a wastebasket.
  • Stay home if you think you have the flu, but if you must go out in public (for instance, to seek medical care wear a mask.

For more infomation, visit

State of New York Department of Health

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