Practise good respiratory hygiene

An illustration showing people practicing good respiratory hygiene in the winter

Respiratory hygiene is crucial for preventing the spread of infectious diseases, especially during the winter when viruses like the flu and COVID-19 are more prevalent. By following a few simple practices, you can protect your health and the health of those around you.

Understanding respiratory hygiene

Good respiratory hygiene involves measures that prevent the spread of germs through droplets when we talk, cough or sneeze. Since these droplets can contain infectious agents, it's essential to control their spread.

Key respiratory etiquette practices

  • Mask up: Wearing a mask in indoor public spaces can significantly reduce the transmission of respiratory viruses.
  • Coughs and sneezes: Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of tissues safely and sanitize your hands afterward.
  • Hand hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoiding face touching: Touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, or mouth, can transfer viruses from surfaces to your body. Keeping your hands away from your face is a simple yet effective way to reduce this risk.
  • Stay home when sick: If you're feeling unwell, prioritize staying home to limit the spread of illness.

Creating a healthy environment

  • Regular sanitation: Keep your living and workspaces clean. Regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches and mobile devices.
  • Ventilation: Good airflow can help disperse potentially infectious particles. When possible, increase ventilation by opening windows or using air filtration devices.


By incorporating these respiratory hygiene practices into your daily routine, you contribute to a healthier community. We can all do our part to keep the air we share clean and safe.