Acute respiratory infections: principles of prevention and control
Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) are illnesses that affect the respiratory system, including the nose, throat, bronchi, and lungs. These infections can be caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria, and can range from mild to severe. Here are some principles of prevention and control of ARIs:
- Hand hygiene: Regular hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of ARIs. Hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Respiratory hygiene: Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing can help to prevent the spread of germs.
- Social distancing: Maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others can help to reduce the spread of ARIs, particularly in crowded spaces.
- Vaccination: Vaccines are available for some types of ARIs, including influenza, pneumococcal disease, and COVID-19. Getting vaccinated can help to prevent illness and reduce the spread of infection.
- Environmental cleaning: Surfaces that are frequently touched, such as door handles, should be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Avoiding close contact with sick individuals: If someone is experiencing symptoms of an ARI, they should be encouraged to stay home and avoid close contact with others.
- Wearing a mask: Wearing a mask can help to prevent the spread of ARIs, particularly in situations where social distancing is difficult.
By following these principles, individuals can help to prevent the spread of ARIs and protect themselves and others from illness.