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Flu Prevention Strategies

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Build a Germ Barrier

The flu virus is easily passed from one person to the next. You can catch it anytime a nearby sick person sneezes or coughs in your direction. When that happens, the person sends a spray of virus-laden droplets straight for your open mouth or nose.

Or, you can pick up the flu virus from touching a surface -- like the restaurant table where a sick person dined before you. Flu germs can linger on surfaces for up to eight hours.

When you touch a contaminated surface and then put your hands on your eyes, nose, or mouth, your fingers transport the germs straight into your body.

You can try to avoid sick people, but that's not always easy to do, especially when you're in close quarters like movie theaters and malls. If you can't steer clear of the virus, at least use good hygiene to create a barrier against flu germs.

Here are some important hygiene tips you can use to do that:

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap every time you shake hands or touch a surface that might be germ-covered.
  • Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you for times when a sink isn't available.
  • Bring along disinfectant wipes to clean any surfaces you're about to touch.
  • Take extra care to not touch your mouth, eyes, or nose without washing your hands first.

Sharing is wonderful, but not during flu season. Be stingy with your utensils, plates, glasses, and anything else you touch with your mouth. Wash used dishes and utensils in the dishwasher or in the sink with hot water and soap.

Stay Healthy

If you want your immune system to be in good enough shape to fight off the flu and other germs, you need to stay healthy. Take steps like these:

All these will give your body the strength it needs to fend off an impending influenza attack.

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