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Contact Precautions

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 5, 2023.

Contact precautions prevent the spread of bacteria, parasites, and viruses from one person to another. The spread of germs can occur when touching an infected person and their dirty items, such as clothing, and surfaces. You may need contact precautions if you have diarrhea, draining wounds, a rash, or lice. You may also need contact precautions if you have an ostomy or a bag that collects your urine or bowel movements.


Stay in your room as directed:

This will help prevent the spread of germs around your home.

Wear gloves and gowns:

Wear gloves and a gown to handle dirty items and laundry, and while cleaning.

Wash hands often:

Scrub with soap and warm water. Wash hands after gloves are removed and after surfaces and dirty items are touched.

Use a bleach-based cleaner:

You may also create a cleaning solution by mixing 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.

Clean surfaces daily.

Surfaces include the toilet, the area around the toilet, the sink, the area around the sink, and faucets. The toilet should be cleaned after each use if you have infectious diarrhea. Items that you use often should be cleaned daily, such as phones, doorknobs, and remote controls. Clean the shower or bathtub after each use.

Wash dishes and silverware in a dishwasher or in hot water.

Do not share unwashed dishes or silverware with anyone.

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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.

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