Protecting yourself against
Respiratory Tract Infections

As a precautionary measure members of the public are advised to take the following actions :

Build up good body immunity. This means taking a proper diet, having regular exercise and adequate rest, reducing stress and avoiding smoking

Maintain good personal hygiene. Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing

Keep hands clean and wash hands properly. Use liquid soap for hand washing and disposable towel for drying hands

Wash hands when they are dirtied by respiratory secretions e.g. after sneezing

Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth. If necessary, wash hands before touching them

Do not share towels

Use serving utensils at meal times

Keep home environment clean. Wipe furniture (including telephone) regularly (at least once a day) with a piece of towel soaked with diluted household bleach (i.e. adding 1 part of household bleach to 99 parts of water), and then wipe with a piece of towel soaked with water

Maintain good indoor ventilation

Avoid visiting crowded places with poor ventilation

Consult your doctor promptly if you develop respiratory symptoms

Caring for sick family members with respiratory tract infections :

Persons who are unwell should consult a doctor

They should follow instructions given by the doctor including the use of drugs as prescribed and taking adequate rest as appropriate

Adhere to good personal hygiene practices

Patients should put on masks to reduce the chance of spread of infection to carers

Carers may also put on masks to reduce the chance of acquiring infection through the airways

25 March 2003
Department of Health