Coughing and sneezing is a way in which our body tries to get rid of any harmful microbes and dust from the respiratory tract, i.e., from the nose, throat and lungs.

In the case of colds and flu, millions of viral particles (germs/bugs) rush out of the nose and mouth and contaminating the surfaces on which they land, e.g., on exposed food or on our hands.

Using a disposable tissue to catch these harmful microbes (germs/bugs) by covering the nose and mouth and disposing of the tissue in the bin minimises the risk of cross transmission. The individuals you care for may need assistance with carrying out respiratory and cough hygiene and hand hygiene.

Hands must be washed after wiping and blowing the nose or catching a sneeze or a cough. Otherwise, the virus (germ/bug) will remain on the hands and can spread quickly, including onto everything you touch.


NOTE: Hand wipes should not be used for hand hygiene unless there is no running water available. Staff using hand wipes should follow their use with hand rub and should wash their hands at the first available opportunity.


Disposable tissues are much cleaner than cotton handkerchiefs. Tissues should be readily available to everyone, and all should be encouraged to:

  • use a tissue only once
  • throw it away immediately
  • wash their hands afterwards.



  • Catch it; Bin it; Kill it.
  • Use a disposable tissue to catch your sneeze or cough.
  • Discard tissues immediately after use.
  • Encourage and assist others to adopt good respiratory hygiene practices.
  • Keep contaminated hands away from the mucous membranes of the eyes and nose.
  • Perform hand hygiene.