10 Etiquette Rules That Are Good for Your Health


Sneeze Like a Vampire

She's perfected her sneezing form. Margaret Edwards/iStock/Thinkstock
She's perfected her sneezing form. Margaret Edwards/iStock/Thinkstock

It's Dracula's signature move: As the light interrupts his dim lair, he wraps his face in a cape, tucking his nose into the crook of his elbow. While the blood sucking does tarnish the vampire's reputation a bit, it turns out that he's spot-on when it comes to slowing the spread of germs.

One of the main ways that respiratory illnesses like the common cold, flu, whooping cough and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread is through coughing and sneezing. Ideally, you should use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, then immediately throw it away and wash your hands.

Sometimes you just don't have a tissue, though. In that case, resist the urge to use your hands and instead cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or the crook of your elbow, Dracula-style. That way you won't send any contaminated droplets airborne, and you won't spread them on everything you touch [source: CDC, cough].

How else can you stop the spread of germs? Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and warm water — though you probably won't see Dracula doing much of that.