Ways to Prevent the Spread of the Flu

Ways to Prevent the Spread of the Flu

People with the flu may be able to infect others by shedding virus from 1 day before getting sick to 5 to 7 days after. However, children and people with weakened immune systems can shed virus for longer, and might be still contagious past 5 to 7 days of being sick, especially if they still have symptoms. The flu vaccine is the number one way to prevent the spread of this virus.  Other ways to help prevent the spread of the flu include:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Stay away from people who are sick.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water (singing  “Happy Birthday” twice through while doing this will help children spend the appropriate amount of time washing). If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • If someone in the household is sick, try to keep the sick person in a separate room from others in the household, if possible.
  • Keep surfaces like bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen counters and toys for children clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.
  • Stay home from school and work when you are sick until fever-free overnight at a minimum and longer if you think you are still contagious.

Further information can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/updated/fluguideforparents.pdf

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