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Keep your distance. If possible, avoid contact with sick people. If you can't -- because you're caring for a sick family member, for instance -- step up your hand-washing routine and your attention to other defenses against germs.

Take care of yourself. Experts think that healthy living may help boost your immune system. To better fight off cold and flu germs, eat nutritiously, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.

Stay home when you're sick. It may not be convenient, but if you go to school or work when you're not feeling well, you can make many people sick. Although a cold or flu might not be a big deal for you, it can be serious for people with weak immune systems, like young children, the elderly, and people with chronic health problems.

Working while you're sick isn't good for you, either. Ignoring your own illness and not getting rest can make it harder for your body to fight it. So when you're sick with the cold or flu, do what's good for you and for others: Take a couple of days off.