Skip to content

    Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

    Font Size

    Stopping Swine Flu Up to You

    Before the Vaccine Arrives, It's Up to Citizens to Slow Swine Flu


    The second part of the plan is to keep from spreading the swine flu virus:

    • Stay home if you are sick.
    • Observe flu etiquette. Don't cough or sneeze into your hands. Cough/sneeze into a tissue -- or, failing that, your elbow.
    • If you can do so comfortably, wear a face mask if you come into contact with others.
    • If you are an employer, do not penalize workers for staying home if sick or for caring for sick children.
    • Make plans -- now -- for what you'd do if you or your children get sick this fall.

    Does this stuff really work? From the standpoint of an individual, nothing may seem to be happening.

    "All these efforts are leaky," acknowledged Martin Cetron, MD, director of the CDC's division of global migration and quarantine.

    But if enough people do these things often enough, it will slow the speed at which flu spreads through a community. This actually slows down the pandemic -- and buys precious time for vaccination to do its work.

    "By altering patterns of transmission, we reduce the peak of an epidemic wave, we buy time, and we reduce the total number of cases," Cetron said at the CDC symposium.

    1 | 2

    Today on WebMD

    hot toddy
    15 tips to help you feel better.
    man sneezing into elbow
    Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
    teen girl coughing
    Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
    elder berry
    Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
    Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
    cold weather
    Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
    Boy holding ear
    woman receiving vaccine shot
    woman with fever
    Waking up from sleep
    woman with sore throat