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 Prevent Illness

Cover Your Cough

Stop the spread of germs that make you and others sick: cover your cough

Why should I cover my cough?
How do I cover my cough?
When you are at the clinic or hospital
How can I stay healthy?

Cover Your Cough Educational Materials
Download printable posters and brochures from the cover your cough educational campaign.


  • Why should I cover my cough?
    • 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
    • These illnesses spread easily in crowded places where people are in close contact.


  • How do I cover my cough?
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue every time you cough or sneeze.
      • Throw the used tissue in a waste basket.
    • If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your upper sleeve.
    • After coughing or sneezing, always clean your hands with soap & water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.

  • When you are at the clinic or hospital:
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and dispose of the used tissue in the waste basket.
    • Clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
    • You may also be asked to wear a mask to protect others.


  • How can I stay healthy?
    • Clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, if possible.
    • Get vaccinated!