For the best protection, get the flu vaccine when it comes out each year in October or November. But even later is better than not at all. It takes 2 weeks for the flu vaccine to take effect, and flu season can last into March or April.
Keep your distance. If possible, stay away from people who have a cold or the flu. 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.
Stay home when you're sick. If you go to school or work when you don't feel well, you can make a lot of 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 anyone with a long-term health problem.Working while you're sick isn't good for you, either. It can make it harder for your body to fight off a cold. So do what's best for you and everyone else. Take a couple of days off.