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Fill-in-Blank News Release for County Health Departments

For Release: April __, 2003
Contact: (Administrator)
________ County Health Department
(Telephone #)

Tips for Preventing the Spread of Germs During Cold and Flu Season

The _____ County Health Department reminds area citizens that during the cough, cold and flu season, there are some simple tips that will help keep respiratory infections from spreading.

“Respiratory infections affect the nose, throat and lungs,” said _____, _____ County Health Department (administrative director, nurse, health educator, etc.). “They include influenza (flu), colds, and pertussis (whooping cough). The germs (viruses and bacteria) that cause these infections are spread from person-to-person in droplets from the nose, throat and lungs of someone who is sick.”

To help stop the spread of these germs, _____ suggested that everyone can practice “respiratory etiquette” – meaning simply, good health manners – by covering your nose and mouth every time you sneeze, cough, or blow your nose; putting used tissues in the trash; and washing your hands often.

To “keep your germs to yourself” if you are sick, _____ offered the following tips:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.
  • Throw out used tissues in the trash as soon as you can.
  • Always wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing, or after touching used tissues or handkerchiefs.
  • Wash hands often with warm water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Stay home if you have a cough or fever.

To “keep germs away” if you are not sick, _____ offered these suggestions:

  • Wash your hands before eating, or touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Wash your hands after touching anyone else who is sneezing, coughing, blowing their nose, or whose nose is running.
  • Don’t share things like cigarettes, towels, lipstick, toys, or anything else that might be contaminated with respiratory germs.
  • Don’t share food, utensils, or beverage containers with others.

For more information on preventing colds or flu (county option: or information about flu vaccine in your area), contact the _____ County Health Department at (phone number).

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