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How To Prevent Infection After Transplant

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

This list sounds like a pandemic list but it was created before the pandemic.

Infections are the #1 cause of early transplant rejection. People with kidney transplants must take anti-rejection medications that lower their immune system for the life of the new kidney, making infections easy to obtain.

In order to prevent infection after a kidney transplant, John Hopkins Medicine has put together a list of things to do.

How To Prevent Infection for the Life of the Kidney:

  • Do not scoop cat litter, clean a bird cage, or change diapers if possible.

  • Avoid being around anyone who has diarrhea, cold or flu-like symptoms.

  • Get the flu shot every year.

  • Follow food safety guidelines when purchasing and preparing food.

  • Before swimming in lakes or oceans, check online for water quality or safety advisories.

  • Wear a face mask and gloves while gardening or digging in the dirt.

  • Avoid food from self-serve salad bars or buffets.

  • Avoid cruises.

  • Wear a face mask inside a hospital, clinic, or lab. Replace face mask when dirty.

  • Wash hands with soap and warm water after entering the house, after using the bathroom and before eating. Visitors and anyone who lives with you should do the same.

  • Use hand sanitizer only if hands are not visibly dirty. Carry a bottle of hand sanitizer when away from home.

This list was last revised by John Hopkins Medicine in August 2017, before the pandemic. That means that those with kidney transplants have been living similarly to how everyone was forced to live in 2020, years prior to Covid. Please consider this when you see anyone in public wearing a mask after Covid infections decrease. These requirements are requirements of all transplant patients, prior to Covid. If this list were to ever get updated, we’re certain the restrictions would increase due to the pandemic.


This page contains general medical information. Medical knowledge and practice can change rapidly. Therefore, this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

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