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Fact Sheet

Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs

October 6, 2006

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. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent the flu.

  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. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  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.
  4. Clean your hands.
    Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  5. 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.
  6. Practice other good health habits.
    Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Printable Materials for Promoting Good Health Habits




This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
See Also
Whatever Happened to H1N1 (Swine Flu) and HIV? New Answers at CROI 2010
Interim Guidance on Antiviral Recommendations for Patients With Confirmed or Suspected Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infection and Close Contact
Interim Recommendations for Facemask and Respirator Use in Certain Community Settings Where Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Transmission Has Been Detected
Read More About H1N1 (Swine) Flu & HIV/AIDS

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