Although there’s still no cure for the flu, there are a lot of proven ways to prevent germs from spreading. The tips in this article can help you stay active this flu season and keep those in your home and workplace healthy.
Nobody wants to be “that person” who was the first to show up to work sick. Suddenly, your boss and co-workers catch the bug, and they remember you walking in a few days before—puffy-eyed and sneezing.
Help reduce the risk of spreading germs in your office, your home and anywhere else where you’re around people with these helpful tips provided by the New York State Department of Health:
Get The Flu Vaccine
The most effective way to avoid the flu is to get the flu vaccine. Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider for a flu shot or nasal-spray vaccine every year. Remember: Last year’s vaccine will not help you this year.
Keep Germs To Yourself
Coughing, sneezing and talking can cause flu germs to spread from person to person. When an infected person talks, droplets get into the air and are inhaled by people who are nearby. Anyone within 3 feet can easily become infected.
Touching objects can also spread germs. If a contaminated person rubs his or her eyes, nose or mouth and then touches something, a non-contaminated person can contract the flu. Flu germs are able to live for hours on surfaces like desks, tables and doorknobs.
Cover Your Cough
Covering your cough will help keep germs from getting into the atmosphere. Here are a few tips to help you shield others from your coughing:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue whenever you feel like you are going to cough or sneeze.
- If a tissue is not available to you, cough or sneeze into your upper arm instead of your hands.
- Make sure to put your used tissues in a trash can.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitizer).
- Stay home when you’re ill, but if you have to go out in public, place a surgical mask over your mouth.
Keep Your Hands Clean
Although your hands may look clean, they still have germs on them that could cause you or someone else to get sick. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose. Wash your hands often with soap for a least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer to protect yourself from germs.
It is important to clean your hands thoroughly:
- After wiping or blowing your nose or sneezing or coughing
- After using the bathroom
- After being in contact with someone who is ill
- Before handling food, especially those that require a lot of handling, like salads and sandwiches
- Before and after drinking or eating
- After touching a trash bin
How To Properly Wash Your Hands
- Wet your hands with warm running water
- Lather with soap and scrub the spaces between your fingers, on the backs of your hands and under your nails
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
- Dry your hands with paper towels or an electric hand dryer
- Use a paper towel when you turn off the tap
It’s almost impossible to completely avoid the spread of germs, but these tips will give you the best chances of staying healthy this flu season. If not for yourself, take precautions so your co-workers and family members don’t get sick.