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Stay healthy: good hygiene habits

12th March 2020

Something small we can all do to stay healthy is to practice good hygiene habits.

Wash your hands regularly

Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub. You might not realise, but we actually need to wash our hands for longer than you think. Try to wash your hands for as long as it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice. Don’t forget the backs of your hands and between your fingers.

Always remember to wash your hands before eating and drinking, after shaking hands, and sneezing or blowing your nose.

Wipe down frequently touched surfaces

All day long, we touch shared surfaces such as doorknobs, remote controls, kitchen benches and phones. If you or a family member is sick, wipe down any surfaces or objects they touch around the home with detergent or an alcohol wipe regularly. When at work, or out of the house, this can be a bit harder to control. So, make sure to wash or disinfect your hands regularly.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

Try to be mindful of not touching your face when out of the house. Public places like the workplace, supermarkets and restaurants are a breeding ground for germs. Without realising it, you can transfer germs to yourself by touching something a sick person has touched and then touching your face.

Keep your germs away from others

If you’re unwell avoid work, school and appointments until the fever has passed – your peers will thank you for it! Turn away from others when sneezing or coughing and cover your mouth with a tissue or your arm (not your hand).

Always use disposable tissues rather than a handkerchief and drop them immediately into the nearest bin after use. Keep personal items such as towels, bedding and toothbrushes separate; and don’t share cutlery, dishes, food or drinks.


With news of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia (and worldwide), the MS Society is focusing on good hygiene and keeping our MS community safe and healthy. If you are feeling unwell or have any concerns, please contact your GP. If you have an appointment with us, and are feeling unwell, we ask that you stay home and we can chat to you over the phone.

For more information about Coronavirus:

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Stay healthy: good hygiene habits