Health expert: Watch where you cough or sneeze

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As we learn more about coronavirus and how it’s spread, health professionals encourage everyone to continue being responsible when it come personal hygiene.

That includes watching where you cough or sneeze, in addition to washing your hands, health experts say.

Coronavirus cases in Tennessee continue to increase daily. As of Thursday, the state is up to 18, with two cases being reported in Shelby County.

Medical experts say at this point it’s all about containing the virus and keeping it from spreading to those who are high at risk.

“You should wash your hands when handling items that other people could have been handling, and then you should wash them again layer anyway. you should wash your hands if and doubt,” said Dr. Steve Threlkeld, an infectious disease specialist.

But, with flu season is still upon us and now allergy season looming overhead, for some, it can be difficult to keep the sniffles and sneezes away.

Threlkeld said, outside of washing your hands, you should sneeze or cough in your arm or in a tissue to keep germs from spreading.

The goal is to keep the virus from getting into the air by all means necessary.

“What’s not helpful is you coughing into your hand and then shaking hands with someone else and then they’ve shaken hands with you. They fail to remember not to touch their face,” he said, ” … and then they have inoculated your virus into themselves, and then it’s off to the races.”

Threlkeld said he prefers people wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds instead of using hand sanitizer.  

He said in many cases soap and water will break down the particles that the alcohol in sanitizer may leave behind.

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