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Staying Healthy – Preventing the Spread of ALL Viruses

  • 1 min to read
Washing Hands

Washing your hands often with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs.

Recent news about the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, has many people worried. While there are good reasons for our public health officials to urge caution, there are many things you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy—without going to extremes.

Viruses are microscopic organisms that vary from simple to highly complex. Each has unique traits, including how it moves from one person to another, how it infects people, and who it infects.

Viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics. They can only be prevented through vaccines and healthy habits. The best way to prevent getting and spreading viruses is by building these healthy habits into your everyday life:

  • Clean your hands often. See the sidebar for the best way to clean your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday with a bleach-based cleanser. High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Take care of your immune system by getting proper nutrition, hydration, sleep and exercise.
Kendra Gohl

Kendra Gohl, Infection Prevention Nurse

CMH Director of Nursing Services


When you are sick, it’s important that you prevent spreading the virus to others. One thing that makes COVID-19 concerning, is that it spreads quickly. Early data suggests that one sick person can infect several others.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, “The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in Hubei province and other parts of China. In the United States, spread from person-to-person has occurred only among a few close contacts and has not spread any further to-date.” 

With any infection, you should:

  • Stay home when you are sick, unless you need medical care. Avoid public places, including work, school, stores, etc.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can; immediately clean your hands.
  • Clean your hands often. See the sidebar for the best way to clean your hands.
  • Limit contact with other people in your household to prevent spreading the virus to them.
  • Avoid sharing items, including glasses, cups, utensils, towels.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to practice good hygiene. Together, we can slow or stop the spread of viruses, including COVID-19, the flu and the common cold.

Columbia Memorial Hospital is the hub of excellent, full-service healthcare in the Lower Pacific region providing leadership and compassion in the enhancement of health for those we serve.

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