Prevention Steps

DoctorsReport Prevention Steps

We focus on three basic elements:

Personal Hygiene

Contact with Others

Contact with Surfaces

With an increase in the Doctors Report risk index from yellow to orange to red to deep purple, we suggest increased vigilance for each element. However, for those especially susceptible or careful, you may choose to apply all prevention measures at any time. There are many other prevention techniques so do not hesitate to apply them and let us know your results. Of course, your doctor may recommend prevention measures, which you should observe carefully.

Specific illnesses may require special prevention measures. Take a look at the Doctors Report Illness page for any additional measures.

Are these measures worth the trouble?

Consider a few facts:

  • Is care with placing your hands in your nose and mouth important? More than 50% of healthy people have staph bacteria in their nose, hair, skin or mouth. Staph bacteria can cause illness.
  • Handwashing with related education has reduced absenteeism in grade schools by half; on a college campus, upper respiratory illness reduced up to 40%.
  • Need to be careful with swimming pool maintenance? The average swimmer contributes 0.14 grams of fecal material to pool water.

There are many more examples.

Personal Hygiene

Light - 2

  • Hand washing after bathroom use
  • Receive vaccinations as guided by your doctor

Moderate - 4

  • Hand washing before meals and after work or visiting public places
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with hands
  • Use caution in restaurants; prefer cooked foods and more sanitary locations
  • Use paper towels rather than multiple used cloth towels
  • Apply all yellow level measures

Serious - 6

  • Hand washing promptly after contact with others or unclean surfaces at work or in public
  • Carry alcohol based disinfective for use when hand washing not possible
  • Apply all yellow and orange level measures

High/Very High - 8 - 10

  • Consider all contact with people and surfaces outside home as posing risk of infection; as a result, apply yellow, orange and red level measures consistently

Interaction with Others

  • Care with clothes and personal items of those who are ill; wash clothes of ill family members; wash towels and linens regularly
  • Ensure swimming pools are properly cleaned and regularly tested
  • Be aware of six foot distance from others, within which small droplets from the mouths of ill persons may reach you (the “personal distance rule”)
  • Maintain thorough cleaning/disinfecting of toys and surfaces routinely touched by young children
  • Hand shaking, hugs and personal contact made with awareness of personal hygiene measures
  • Use caution in fitness facilities, public transport and other public spaces where members of the public are close
  • Observe yellow measures
  • Apply personal distance rule to avoid if possible extended close interaction at work or in public
  • Evaluate shopping, public gatherings and restaurant meals with a view toward limiting contact with the public or applying extra caution when in public
  • Stay home when ill and encourage others to do the same
  • Observe yellow and orange level measures
  • Apply yellow, orange and red level measures consistently and with special care

Contact with Surfaces

  • Maintain good sanitation in home bathrooms and kitchen; clean and dry places at home which hands routinely contact
  • Regularly disinfect or replace toothbrushes
  • Clean areas where meat or poultry are stored or prepared; avoid cross contamination with fresh foods
  • Be alert to surfaces at work on in school which are routinely used or touched by others
  • Clean and disinfect nebulizers; clean and/or replace air filters
  • Always use care with clothing and objects touched by ill family members, friends and colleagues
  • Be aware of surfaces in public places; avoid touching such surfaces and apply hygiene measures when touching is unavoidable
  • Apply yellow level measures
  • Commence cleaning/disinfecting of objects regularly touched, including smart phones, computer keyboards, tablet surfaces, tv remotes, stuffed animals, door knobs, light switches, stair banisters and devices touched in the home bathroom and kitchen; consider disinfecting areas and items on your desk at work
  • Consider all contact surfaces in public places as having the potential to be contaminated
  • Apply consistently the yellow, orange and red contact surfaces measures