Physical Health

Cover Your Cough

Follow these simple steps to prevent the spread of germs that make people sick. Health educators and managers may display this poster in classrooms and clinics.

Stop the Spread of Germs that Make You and Others Sick!

Serious respiratory illnesses like influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread by: 

  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Unclean hands 

To help stop the spread of germs, 

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Put your used tissue in the waste basket.

Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing 

  • Wash with soap and water, or
  • Clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner.

Note: You may be asked to put on a surgical mask to protect others. Find more information on the Cover Your Cough page on the CDC website.