Every child is being taught from a very young age to cover its nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing. Populations around the world are aware that sneezing in particular expels millions of germs into the environment at average speeds of 80 to 100 mph, capable of propelling them over a distance as far as 32 feet.
What few people are aware of that the traditionally recommended use of a tissue is ultimately not that effective in preventing the spread of germs. Unless it is actually physically possible to wash one’s hands correctly after each sneeze, using a tissue will still result in germs being spread via the hands as a result of escaping germs.
Sneezing into a tissue will no doubt stop germs from being catapulted over great distances. As they hit the tissue, however, many bounce off to the side, getting caught on the sneezing individual’s hands.
This is fine if the individual is able to immediately go and wash their hands with soap and hot water for at least as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday not once, but twice. Sneezing in the middle of a long bus or car journey, or repeatedly sneezing during class at school, at work or while out shopping is likely to prevent this action and germs will consequently be spread.
Even if it is possible to go and give one’s hands a good scrub immediately, by the time the nearest sink has been reached, several doors are likely to have been opened and germs will be left on door handles, etc. While these can of course be immediately removed with hot water or antiseptic wipes at home, it could prove a problem elsewhere.
So what is the poor sufferer to do in order to stop germs from being spread? According to some Healthcare experts, the best way to prevent germs from being spread through sneezing is to sneeze into one’s elbow, or to be more precise, the sleeve covering ones elbow.
While this may seem an absurd idea to some, it does prevent germs from reaching the hands and consequently reduces the risk of germs being passed on to others by shaking hands, passing over money while shopping or handing over class-work.
Most experts do agree that this is one of the most effective ways of preventing a sneeze from becoming a ticking time bomb on door handles and other places likely to be touched by others.