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Protecting Yourself

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Protecting Yourself from Getting Sick

Flu Immunization

In addition to getting your flu vaccine each year, there are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.

Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home, call your care provider and keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

If I have a family member at home who is sick with seasonal flu, should I go to work?
If you are well but have an ill family member at home with the flu you can go to work as usual. Monitor your health every day, and take everyday precautions, including washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. If you become ill, stay home.

If you have an underlying medical condition or are pregnant, you should call your health care provider for advice, because you might need to receive influenza antiviral drugs to prevent illness.

What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner.

Wash your hands -- with soap and warm water -- for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drug stores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

Source: CDC