Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs
- 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.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick.
- Keep sick children at home.
- You will prevent others from catching the illness.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often.
- Washing your hands and the hands of your children often will help protect you from germs.
- Wash under the nails, as well as both sides of your hand with soap under warm water for at least one minute.
- 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.
- Use sanitizer whenever possible, but do not touch eyes, nose, or mouth as some contain chemicals that could cause discomfort.
- Practice other good health habits.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Be physically active.
- Manage your stress.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat nutritious food.
There is no vaccine available at this time for the current outbreak of the Swine Flu virus (H1N1), so it is important for people living in the affected areas to take steps to prevent spreading the virus to others. If people are ill, they should stay at home and limit contact with others, except to seek medical care. Healthy residents living in these areas should take the everyday preventive actions listed above.
People who live in these areas who develop an illness with fever and respiratory symptoms, such as cough and runny nose, and possibly other symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, should contact their health care provider. Their health care provider will determine whether influenza testing is needed.