When you cough or sneeze, you send tiny germ-filled droplets into the air. Colds and flu usually spread that way. You can help stop the spread of germs by Covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough Cleaning your hands often - always before you eat or prepare food, and after you use the bathroom or change a diaper Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth Hand washing is one of the most effective and most overlooked ways to stop disease. Soap and water work well to kill germs. Wash for at least 15 seconds. Disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers also work well.