The following measures to contain respiratory secretions are recommended for all individuals with signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
    • If no tissue is available, cover your cough or sneeze with both hands or cough/sneeze into elbow.
  • Dispose of the tissue in the nearest waste receptacle after use.
  • Perform hand hygiene (e.g., hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or antiseptic handwash) after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.

It is highly recommended that healthcare facilities ensure the availability of materials for adhering to Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette in waiting areas for patients and visitors.

  • Provide tissues and no-touch receptacles for used tissue disposal.
  • Provide conveniently located dispensers of alcohol-based hand rub.
  • At wash basins or sinks, ensure that supplies for hand-washing (i.e., soap, disposable towels) are always available.
Cover your cough or sneeze.