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Infections: How can we prevent and treat them?

Precautionary measures are safety steps you can take to prevent getting or spreading infectious diseases. When we follow them, we help keep the circle of protection strong for ourselves and our community. 

Treatment depends on the type of infection.

How can we prevent infections?

Some measures are general (“universal”) and work effectively to reduce the spread of most kinds of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi, like: 

  • Washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds 
  • Staying home and avoiding other people when you are sick 
  • Covering your mouth with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze 
  • Treating tap water in communities to remove natural germs 
  • Boiling drinking or cooking water from rivers or lakes while at camp 
  • Safely handling food, like butchering animals with a clean knife and cooking the meat thoroughly 
  • Ventilating indoor spaces well  
Youth taking selfie while getting vaccinated

Routine vaccination is very important to prevent infections

Did you know?

  • Vaccinations help teach your body’s immune system to protect your body from specific germs. 
  • They are the most effective prevention for many potentially serious infections and have saved many people’s lives in Eeyou Istchee and around the world. 
  • Most routine vaccines can help your body protect you from ever getting a specific infection. Some help your body prevent severe symptoms of illnesses, but don’t always fully stop an infection. 
  • It is important to stay up to date on your routine vaccines (like pneumonia, measles, COVID-19, tetanus, influenza, meningitis, hepatitis, chickenpox, shingles, etc.). 

Some prevention measures are more specific to certain infections

Other prevention measures depend on the specific ways that different infections are transmitted. For example, someone may be at higher risk of getting infected by a specific disease depending on their job, travel, or medical conditions. 

Some examples include: 

  • Practicing safe sex to reduce transmitting sexually transmitted and blood-borne diseases (STBBIs), like chlamydia or HIV (for example, using condoms and getting screening tests regularly) 
  • Getting specific vaccines based on your work or travel (for examples, a rabies vaccine for people who work directly with animals) 
  • Wearing masks when recommended to prevent spreading or breathing in respiratory germs 
  • Using additional personal protective equipment (gloves, gowns, visors, N95 respirators, etc.) in specific settings or jobs 
  • Preventive medications for people who have a very high risk of exposure (like PrEP for HIV) 


How are infections treated?

Treatment depends on the type of infection.  

An infection can be caused by a bacteria, virus, parasite, or fungi.



Explore more about Infections

Infections happen when germs enter someone’s body, and start to make the person sick.

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