Vaccinating yourself against the seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications is the most effective way to reduce the risk. However, maintaining healthy health habits can help prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu by stopping the spread of germs, covering your cough, and washing your hands regularly. Additionally, flu antiviral drugs can be used to treat and prevent the flu.

In the following tips and resources, you will learn about ways to protect yourself from the flu and prevent germs from spreading.

  1. Avoid close contact
    Stay away from sick people. To prevent others from getting sick, keep your distance when you are ill.
  2. Stay home when you are sick
    When you are sick, stay at home instead of going to work, school, or errands. As a result, you will be able to prevent the spread of your illness to others.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose
    When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. You may prevent others from getting sick. People with flu spread flu viruses by coughing, sneezing, or talking.
  4. Clean your hands
    You can protect yourself from germs by washing your hands often. Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
    The transmission of germs can occur when a person touches something contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  6. Practice other good health habits
    When someone is ill, disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by sleeping well, staying active, managing your stress, and eating nutritiously.
  7. Preventing Flu at Work and School

    At School

    • Check whether flu vaccinations are offered on-site by your child’s school, childcare program, and/or college if an outbreak of flu occurs.

    • Your child’s school, childcare program, and/or college should routinely clean frequently touched objects and surfaces, as well as have a good supply of tissues, soap, paper towels, alcohol-based hand rubs, and disposable wipes.

    • Obtain information about the absence policy for sick students and staff, and how sick students and staff are separated from others.

    At Work

    • If an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs, ask your employer whether flu vaccinations are available on site.

    • To help eliminate germs, regularly clean frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as doorknobs, keyboards, and phones.

    • Supplies of tissues, soap, paper towels, alcohol-based hand rubs, and disposable wipes should be readily available at your workplace.

    • Educate others on how to do your job so they can cover for you in case you or a family member become sick.

    • It is important to go home immediately if you are feeling sick at work.

Let’s stay healthy this flu season by following these steps to a healthier environment and lifestyle for you and your family.