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Stopping the Spread of Germs

The official flu season can begin as early as October and extends into April. The actual incidence of flu starts to increase in activity in December and generally peaks in January, February, and March. Besides influenza, there are lots of other viruses that circulate during this time. Following some basic good health habits can help to stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.

1. Immunize Against the Flu.
Vaccination is the single best way to prevent seasonal flu.

2. Keep Your Distance
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others too. Don’t go to work when you are ill.

3. Cover Your Mouth & Nose
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and then throw the tissue away in a trash container. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your arm, NOT your hands.

4. Wash Your Hands Often
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Always wash your hands before and after eating, after using the restroom, after handling tissues or handkerchiefs, and after contact with others. Don’t forget to wash after using publicly shared items such as grocery carts and credit card key pads too!

5. Avoid Touching Your Face
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. Disinfect
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Clean doorknobs, phones, keyboards, the computer mouse, faucets, counter tops, and toilets, especially when someone is ill.

7. Support Your Immune System
Getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing stress, eating healthy foods, and maintaining adequate hydration promotes good immune system function.

8. Seek Medical Care

See a doctor if symptoms are worrisome, or if they do not improve.