Tips for staying healthy in flu season
Follow these tips to stay healthy and to help prevent the spread of viruses.
- Wash your hands frequently during the flu season. You may use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rinse (alcohol rinses are available at all pharmacies and should contain at least 60 percent alcohol). Remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Viruses are often spread after a person touches something that is contaminated with the virus and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick. If your coworker is ill, steer clear of his or her sneezes and coughs. When possible, avoid shaking hands with someone who is ill with a respiratory infection. If you are caring for an ill family member, wash your hands frequently and minimize proximity to his or her face.
- Cover your mouth with tissue paper when coughing or sneezing and encourage others to do so. Wash your hands after disposing of the tissue paper.
- Stay home if you have a respiratory infection when possible.
These recommendations are based on the Draft Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings. Recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), CDC.
To help prevent the spread of viruses in your home
You keep your house tidy, but it’s tough to clean what you can’t see: invisible viruses that cause the flu or common cold. When germy fingers touch a household surface, the virus causing bugs can transfer there and linger. Objects frequently handled by family members—such as telephones, doorknobs, the TV remote or the keyboard for a shared computer—are often-overlooked viral “hot spots.”
- Wash hands often—especially before eating, after using the bathroom, and before and after cooking. A thorough wash takes at least 15 seconds of rubbing hands together with soap and water. A paper towel is best for drying.
- Clean household surfaces often with disinfectant spray or antibacterial wipes.
- Keep hands away from your eyes, mouth and nose. These are key body entry points for a virus.