PERSONAL PRECAUTIONS TO CONSIDER
DURING A VIRAL OUTBREAK
- NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.
- Use ONLY your knuckle or back of hand to touch light switches. elevator buttons, and other common use surfaces. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.
- Open doors with your closed fist or hip - do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.
- Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
- Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds after contact with common-use surfaces (bathrooms, stair rails, etc.). When handwashing is not readily possible, use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer following ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.
- Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home's entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can't immediately wash your hands.
- If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!
Stocking Supplies in a Pandemic
- Consider maintaining a supply of Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with potentially contaminated areas.
- Use of Disposable surgical masks. Despite popular belief, there is no evidence that these masks prevent viral infection in public settings, but they can aid is preventing you from touching your nose and mouth, which are the only orifices through which you can be infected. We touch our faces more than 100 times each day, mostly unaware. (Masks may be used in the health care setting to prevent a person who is infected from spreading viral particles as much.
- Hand sanitizers which are alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol.
**Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are potentially infectious for about a week on average. The contaminated surface can become the vehicle for transmission—you touch it, then touch your mouth or nose…
**This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs). The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth, or by transferring significant quantity of viral particles from your hands to your moth or nose..**
Adapted from materials from the University of California at San Diego’s Microbiology Dept.