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Tips to stop the spread of flu germs

Help keep you and your loved ones healthy.

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The bad news is you've got the flu. The good news is you can stop it from spreading to your friends and family.

Most people who catch the flu get better in a week. But even when you feel better, you can still make other people sick. Getting your flu shot is the best way to keep yourself and others safe from the flu.

You can get your shot at your doctor's office or your local pharmacy. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any questions or are worried about getting the shot.

But what if you or someone in your home is already sick? What can you do to stop the spread of germs?

Flu germs spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. People can also catch it by touching anything with flu germs on it. Here are some tips that may help you stop the spread of illness.

Stay home. If you show any signs of the flu, stay home from work or school. Watch for these signs:

    • Body aches
    • Fever
    • Stuffy or runny nose
    • Cough
    • Headache
    • Tiredness
    • Sore throat

You may also throw up (vomit) and have loose poop (diarrhea). But this happens more often in children. If you have the flu, you should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. And that’s after you’ve stopped taking any fever medicine.

Wash your hands often. This is one of the best things you can do to help stop the spread of germs. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and running water. If soap and water aren't nearby, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 

Cover your mouth and nose with a clean tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after you're done using it. If you don’t have a tissue, cover your nose and mouth with your upper sleeve or the crook of your elbow. Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands.

Keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes. This is how germs on your hands spread to your body.

Don’t share knives and forks, drinking glasses or bottles with anyone.

Disinfect often. Clean things such as kitchen countertops, doors, sink handles and light switches. Harmful germs can live on surfaces for hours. That’s why it’s important to clean them often with a disinfectant.

Don’t get too close to friends and family. Keeping your distance will help lower the chance of people catching the flu from you.


    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.