BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuPreventing infections when visiting someone in the hospitalInfections are illnesses that are caused by germs such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses. Patients in the hospital are already ill. Exposing them to these germs may make it harder for them to recover and go home.If you are visiting a friend or loved one, you need to take steps to prevent spreading germs.The best way to stop the spread of germs is to:Wash your hands often Stay home if you are sick Use a face mask when directed or when infections may be transmitted through the air Keep your vaccines up to dateHand Washing and Alcohol-based Hand CleanersClean your hands:When you enter and leave a patient's room After using the bathroom After touching a patient Before and after using glovesRemind family, friends, and health care providers to wash their hands before entering a patient's room.To wash your hands:Wet your hands and wrists, then apply soap. Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds so the soap gets bubbly. Remove rings or scrub under them. If your fingernails are dirty, use a scrub brush. Rinse your hands clean with running water. Dry your hands with a clean paper towel. Do not touch the sink and faucets after you wash your hands. Use the paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the door.You may also use alcohol-based hand cleaners (sanitizers) if your hands are not visibly soiled.Dispensers can be found in a patient's room and throughout a hospital or other health care facility. Apply a dime-sized amount of sanitizer in the palm of one hand. Rub your hands together, making sure all surfaces on both sides of your hands and between your fingers are covered. Rub until your hands are dry.Stay Home If You are SickStaff and visitors should stay home if they feel sick or have a fever. This helps protect everyone in the hospital.If you think you were exposed to COVID-19, chickenpox, the flu, or any other infections, stay home.COVID-19Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is mainly a respiratory illness that causes fever, coughing, and shortness of breath, but many other symptoms can...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Remember, what may seem like just a little cold to you can be a big problem for someone who is sick and in the hospital. If you are not sure if it is safe to visit, call your provider and ask them about your symptoms before you visit the hospital.IsolationAnybody who visits a hospital patient who has an isolation sign outside their door should stop at the nurses' station before entering the patient's room.Isolation precautions create barriers that help prevent the spread of germs in the hospital. They are needed to protect you and the patient you are visiting. The precautions are also needed to protect other patients in the hospital.Isolation precautionsIsolation precautions create barriers between people and germs. These types of precautions help prevent the spread of germs in the hospital. Anybody...Read Article Now Book Mark Article When a patient is in isolation, visitors may:Need to wear gloves, a gown, a mask, or some other covering Need to avoid touching the patient Not be allowed into a patient's room at all Other Things You Can Do to Prevent InfectionsHospital patients who are very old, very young, or very ill are at the greatest risk for harm from infections such as colds and the flu. To prevent getting the flu and passing it to others, get a flu vaccine each year. To prevent getting COVID-19 and passing it to others, get COVID-19 vaccines according to current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control. Ask your doctor what other vaccines you need.COVID-19 vaccinesCOVID-19 vaccines are used to prepare the body's immune system to protect against COVID-19. These vaccines are a vital tool to help stop the COVID-1...Read Article Now Book Mark Article When you visit a patient in the hospital, keep your hands away from your face. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the crease of your elbow, not into the air.Open ReferencesReferencesCalfee DP. Prevention and control of health care-associated infections. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 266.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Infection control. www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/index.html. Updated April 29, 2020. Accessed October 24, 2021.AllVideoImagesTogA Closer Look Travel to developing countries(In-Depth)Related Information Review Date: 10/24/2021 Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.