Sleeves may be key to safe sneezing

November 10, 2007

Ailing individuals who do not want to spread their infections should sneeze into their sleeves rather than their hands, a British virus expert recommends.

Professor John Oxford of London's Queen Mary medical school has claimed that by sneezing into one's sleeve or crook of the elbow, a person who is sick can significantly limit the spread of their infection, The Telegraph said Saturday.

"The new etiquette should be to cough and sneeze into your elbow," Oxford said.

"It breaks the chain of transmission, and you must wash your hands properly and regularly."

Other keys to preventing the spread of infection are repeatedly washing your hands and using disposable tissues rather than a handkerchief.

"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 virus expert told the British newspaper. "The handkerchief can be a harbinger of unpleasant micro-organisms. Bacteria can multiply in them."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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