Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve
Sneezing and coughing can spread colds, flu, and many other viruses. These viruses live in the saliva and mucus in your nose and throat.
When you sneeze and cough, you spray little droplets of saliva and mucus into the air. Other people can breathe in the droplets and get sick. Or the droplets can land on tables, keyboards, books, and other things. When someone touches these things, then touches their face or eyes, they can catch the virus and get sick.
- Cough and sneeze into tissues, throw the tissues away, and wash your hands.
- If you don't have a tissue, turn away from people and cough into your shoulder or your sleeve.
- Do not cover your coughs and sneezes with your hands.
- Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Get your flu and pneumonia shots
Shots (vaccinations) give you the best protection against many diseases, including flu and pneumonia. The Lung Association recommends that:
- Most people over 6 months old should get the flu shot every year.
- Most people with COPD and asthma should also get a pneumonia shot.