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Flu Prevention


These simple flu prevention tips can protect you from getting the flu and help stop the spread of germs.

Get a flu shot every year.

A flu shot is the best way to protect yourself against seasonal flu. You should get a flu shot every fall because the viruses that cause the flu change every year.

Ask your doctor or nurse if you should get a pneumonia shot.

You should get a pneumonia shot (also know as pneumococcal vaccine) if you are age 65 or older, or if you have a medical condition like diabetes, asthma, or heart disease.

Wash your hands often.

Wash your hands often. Use soap and rub your hands together for 20 seconds. Alcohol-based gels and wipes also work well.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Wipe down door handles, water faucets, and phones.

Use an all-purpose cleaner to wipe down door and refrigerator handles, phones, water faucets, computer keyboards, and other household items that are frequently touched by family members.

Avoid close contact with sick people.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

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.

Cover your cough or sneeze.

Cough or sneeze into the inside of your arm, not your hands. This will help prevent those around you from getting sick.

Other good habits, such as getting plenty of sleep, engaging in physical activity, managing stress, drinking water, and eating good food, will help you stay healthy this winter and all year.

Last reviewed on September 13, 2013