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Airborne Precautions


Airborne precautions are used to prevent the spread of germs through the air or dust. Examples of illnesses that require airborne precautions are tuberculosis, measles, and chickenpox. The germs can remain in air or dust for a long time and spread far from you to others. Anyone who breathes in the germs from you can become infected. Healthcare providers will use airborne precautions as soon as they think you are infected. Ask how long you will need airborne precautions.


Airborne precautions at home:

When you are able to go home, you must continue to take your medicines as directed. You may be directed to use the precautions you used in the hospital, in addition to the following:

  • Stay inside your home until your healthcare provider gives you other instructions.
  • Tell everyone who lives in or visits your home to contact their healthcare providers. They may need vaccines or tests within 3 days of being exposed to germs from you.
  • Clean dusty surfaces with a wet towel. The germs will stick to the wet towel instead of spreading on dust particles.
  • Continue to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash right away.
  • Continue to wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol gel often. Hand cleaning is especially important after you cough or sneeze.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Airborne Precautions (Discharge Care)

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