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10 Ways To Prevent Infectious Diseases

  1. Keep immunizations up to date. Follow recommendations for childhood and adult immunizations, and get those shots on time.
  2. Wash your hands often, especially during cold and flu season. Be sure to wash hands:
    • After using the bathroom
    • Before eating or handling food
    • After changing a diaper
    • After blowing your nose or sneezing or coughing
    • After caring for a sick person
    • After playing with a pets
  3. Be aware of what you eat, and be careful how you prepare it.
    • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold until you eat them or cook them.
    • Be sure temperature controls in the refrigerators or freezers are working properly.
    • Wash counters, cutting boards, and utensils carefully with soap and hot water, especially after preparing poultry or other meats.
    • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables before eating them.
    • Cook ground beef until you can no longer see any pink.
  4. Use antibiotics exactly as prescribed. Take them for the full course prescribed by your doctor, but not for colds or other nonbacterial illnesses. Never medicate yourself with antibiotics or share them with family or friends.
  5. Report to your doctor any infection that is quickly getting worse or any infection that does not get better after you take a prescribed antibiotic.
  6. Be cautious around all wild animals and domestic animals that are not familiar to you. After any animal bite, clean the skin with soap and water, and seek medical care immediately.
  7. Avoid areas of insect infestation. Use skin and clothing repellents when in areas where ticks or mosquitoes are common. If you have visited wooded or wilderness areas and are now sick, your doctor needs all the details to diagnose both rare and common illnesses quickly.
  8. Avoid unsafe, unprotected sex and injecting drug use. Use condoms with every new sex partner.
  9. Stay alert to disease threats when you travel or visit undeveloped areas. Get all recommended immunizations and use other protective medications for travel, especially to areas with malaria. If you become ill when you return home, tell your doctor where you've been.
  10. When you are sick, allow yourself time to heal and recover. Be courteous to others: wash your hands frequently, and cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.