Healthy Habits to Help Prevent Flu

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like avoiding people who are sick, covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu

The tips and resources below will help you learn about actions you can take to protect yourself and others from 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 COVID-19, 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 rub.

    • Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives
      Tips on hand washing and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers
    • It’s a SNAP Toolkit: Handwashing
      Hand washing resources from the It’s A SNAP program, aimed at preventing school absenteeism by promoting clean hands. From the School Network for Absenteeism Prevention, a collaborative project of the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cleaning Institute.
  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.
    Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, local governments or public health departments may recommend additional precautions be taken in your community. Follow those instructions.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/actions-prevent-flu.htm