Massachusetts Medical Society: Protect Yourself

Protect Yourself

Protect yourself and the people around you from the flu, as well as from other colds and cough illnesses all year.

Talk to your physician about whether you should get vaccinated against flu.

Wash your hands regularly.
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
You get the flu when the influenza virus gets into your body through your eyes, nose or mouth.

Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
Never cough in the direction of someone else. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.

Clean things that are touched often.
Clean things that are touched often at home, work or school, like door or refrigerator handles, computer keyboards and mouse, phones and water faucets.

Avoid close contact with others who are ill.
Avoid holding, hugging or kissing anyone who has a cold or the flu.

If you have young children, immune system problems or chronic illness, avoid large crowds, when possible.

Stay home when you are ill.
If you have flu symptoms, stay home from work or school and avoid public activities for at least 5 days (7 days for children).

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