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Separate sick room helps cut spread of germs

To more effectively shield healthy family members from those pesky germs, encourage the sick person to cover his or her nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, then disposing of it in the trash can.
BY BRENDA HILL Published: February 19, 2013

Hard surfaces, linens, dishes and laundry in the sick room should be freshened on a daily basis. Go over surfaces such as doorknobs, bedside tables, bathroom sinks, counters with water and dish soap, or common household cleaners that kill germs.

A sick person's dishes can be washed with dish soap or placed in the dishwasher. Similarly, there is no need to separate out a sick person's laundry. Everything can be washed together.

Just follow your normal routine, and tumble dry on a hot setting. As you are loading the washer, hold the laundry away from your face and wash your hands immediately.

Dr. Brenda Hill, Ph.D., is an Extension Educator of Family and Consumer Sciences at Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, a division of Oklahoma State University.