The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. The tips and resources below will help you learn about steps you can take to protect yourself and others from the flu and help stop the spread of germs.
1. Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2. Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
3. Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), whooping cough, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
4. Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for times when you can’t get to a sink.
5. Bring along disinfectant wipes to clean any surfaces you’re about to touch.
7. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
8. Also, don’t touch your mouth, eyes, or nose without washing your hands first.
9. Take care of yourself
If you want your immune system to be in good shape to fight off the flu and other germs, you need to stay healthy.
10. Eat a balanced diet, exercise at least 2-3 times a week, and get 7-9 hours of sleep a night.