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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

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Swine Flu: 10 Things Not to Do

Why you should nix swine flu parties, and other swine flu don'ts.

3. Don't hold or attend a swine flu party.

The guest of honor at a swine flu party is someone who's got swine flu. The point is for other guests to catch the virus in the hopes that they'll have a mild illness and gain immunity so that they won't get sick if the H1N1 virus worsens.

That's a bad idea, according to the CDC, because there's no way to know whether swine flu will be severe or fatal in swine flu party guests -- or anyone else that they, in turn, infect.

4. Don't neglect planning.

One of the CDC's golden rules for dealing with swine flu is for sick people to stay home. That means planning ahead in case you or someone in your family gets sick.

As WebMD reported in early August, the CDC wants schools to try to stay open, but sick children should stay home. The CDC has also issued guidelines for colleges, universities, and businesses on how to deal with swine flu.

Workers may want to look into how their company handles sick leave or time off to care for someone with swine flu. And you might also want to stock up on tissues, disinfectants, and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers for work and home.

5. Don't forget to clean up.

Flu viruses can linger on books, toys, countertops, doorknobs, phones, linens, eating utensils, and other objects. Use a household disinfectant, following the directions on the products' label.

The CDC recommends that when you launder linens of someone who has the flu, don’t hug the laundry before washing it, and set the clothes dryer to the hot setting. Wash your hands with soap and water (or use an alcohol-based hand gel) immediately after handling dirty laundry.

6. Don't get complacent.

Don't shrug off swine flu precautions. Here are the CDC's tips for reducing swine flu infection:

  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your arm -- not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay home if you are sick until at least 24 hours after you have been free of fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more, or signs of fever, without using fever-reducing medicines.

The U.K.'s National Health System notes that when someone sick with flu talks, sneezes, spits, or coughs, infected flu droplets can travel at least 1 meter (about 3.3. feet). The NHS recommends that when you use a tissue, you throw it out after one use.

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