Guard Against Infections

Infections occur when the body is invaded by microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, viruses, and parasites) which are not normally in the body. These microorganisms can multiply rapidly causing an infection that may or may not have symptoms. It can range from mild inflammation in one person to an epidemic where it spreads rapidly and extensively to many people in an area at the same time (e.g., influenza).

Infection Prevention Measures

There are practices that you can apply in your daily activities to create and maintain a healthy and infection-free home, e.g.:
* Wash or sanitize your hands frequently:
* before working with food;
* between handling uncooked fruit/vegetables and raw meat;
* before eating;

* after using the toilet;
* after sneezing, coughing and blowing your nose; and,
* after coming home from public places.
* Apply other hygiene practices consistently (e.g., bathing,/showering, hair care, tooth and mouth care, nail care, foot care).

* Moisturize skin to prevent cracking.
* Don’t share drinking and eating utensils (e.g., cutlery, cups, glasses) or personal care items (e.g., toothbrushes, towels, razors, handkerchiefs, and nail clippers).
* Clean home regularly and remove clutter, which can attract dust and dirt.
* Keep cleaning supplies together and nearby but out of reach of children.
* Use food-safety practices:
* Cook food to the correct temperature.
* Wash fruit and vegetables well.

* Use different cutting boards for meat products and fruit/vegetables.
* Clean & disinfect touched surfaces regularly and more often when sickness is present in home.

* Don’t place your purse or other carrying bags on a counter or in areas where food is prepared or served.
* Keep wounds clean and use an antibiotic ointment (e.g., Neosporin, which contains 3 antibiotics; or Polysporin, which contains 2 antibiotics).
* If you have pets:
* Keep pet environments clean.

* Wipe up accidents immediately.
* Ensure pets are bathed and groomed regularly.
* Keep vaccinations current.
* Don’t allow pets to drink out of the toilet.
* Protect pet from fleas, ticks and other pests.

* Get vaccinated against preventable bacterial infections (e.g., whooping cough, tetanus, and bacterial meningitis).

* Practice safe sex (e.g., wear a condom, have tests for sexually transmitted diseases).

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