Sneeze into crook of elbow, not hands to stop your cold from spreading

November 14th, 2007 - 10:22 am ICT by admin  

Prof John Oxford of Queen Mary medical school in London said that the traditional advice of covering the mouth and nose actually encourages the spread of disease because viruses are easily spread through touch.

Oxford claimed that by sneezing and coughing into the crook of the elbow or the sleeve, those with colds could minimise the spread of germs.

He also added that the basic hygiene measures have been long forgotten in the fight against everyday infections with sufferers increasingly looking to science to cure their ills.

The researcher said that about half of all common cold viruses were transmitted via the hands, with the rest caught by breathing in infected droplets that others have sneezed out.

Oxford said that washing hands regularly with soap and water was the most important activity for keeping cold at bay and ditching handkerchiefs in favour of disposable tissues also helps in staying away from the germs.

“You should sing Happy Birthday twice over while washing your hands with hot water and soap, a quick squirt of cold water will not do it,” the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

He added that sneezing into a tissue was still a better option, but germs still escape from it.

“The handkerchief can be a harbinger of unpleasant micro organisms. Bacteria can multiply in them,” he said.

“The new etiquette should be to cough and sneeze into your elbow.It breaks the chain of transmission and you must wash your hands properly and regularly,” he added. (ANI)

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