Infectious Lung Diseases
Learn about respiratory viruses, how they spread, treatment and prevention.
Preventing Infectious Respiratory Diseases
- Get Vaccinated. Talk to your doctor to see if you are up to date on your vaccinations. It’s always better to prevent a disease rather than treat it after it occurs.
- Wash Your Hands. Hand-washing with soap is always preferred, but hand sanitizer works in a pinch. Cover those coughs and sneezes to prevent spreading disease.
- Cover Coughs and Sneezes. When you cover your cough or sneeze cover your mouth with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the garbage. If you don’t have tissue, sneeze or cough into your upper sleeve or elbow – but not your hands. Afterward, washing your hands.
- Stay Home While Sick. Staying home, and away from other members of the household as much as possible, will help stop the infection from spreading to others.
- Keep Your Home Clean. Prioritize cleaning for health, not appearance. Disinfecting doorknobs and other high touch surfaces, replacing used hand towels and keeping physical distance from sick individuals will help stop the spread of disease.
- Additional Protective Measures. In some instances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, additional preventive measures, such as wearing face masks and social distancing outside the home are required to help stop widespread community transmission of disease.
While each disease has slightly different symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatment options, these overarching concepts provide a broad overlay for treatment.
- Contact Your Healthcare Provider. If the infected individual is young, old or lives with a chronic disease, your primary health care provider will want to know if you are sick so they can monitor your recovery. You should also call whenever there is a new or persisting symptom that worries you. You can determine with your health care provider when they would like to be alerted to illness and which symptoms require prompt notification.