Infectious Disease

Prevention Strategies

Wash Your Hands

Follow these five steps to effectively wash your hands:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Use Hand Sanitizers

  • Hand sanitizers are convenient, but soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations.
  • Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
  • Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
  • Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.

How to use hand sanitizer

  1. Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  2. Rub your hands together.
  3. Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.

Cover your Cough and Sneeze

To help stop the spread of germs:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put your used tissue in a waste basket.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.

Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing:

  • Wash with soap and water, or
  • Keep hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. If clean, running water is not accessible, as is common in many parts of the world, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.

Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose, or Mouth

Infectious diseases are often spread when someone comes in contact with a contagion and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. Wash your hands frequently, and especially before touching your face.

Practice Social Distancing

To help prevent the spread of an infectious disease, follow these steps:

Stay at least 3 feet from others. This may mean avoiding gatherings at concerts, bars, or event sporting events. Social Distancing has been shown to drastically reduce the impact of an infectious disease if implemented early enough. If you think you are sick or are not feeling well, stay consider staying home and resting.


Contact your healthcare provider if you feel you may have been exposed to an infectious disease or have health concerns. You can contact the University Health Center at 662-325-2055. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.

Cleaning Surfaces

Help prevent the spread of illness and disease by cleaning and sanitizing your household. For more information, visit:

More Information

The following resources can provide additional information:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

World Health Organization:

Mississippi State Department of Health:

Mississippi State University Health Services:

Mississippi State University Environmental Health & Safety: