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The flu season runs from December to February according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and reports are already coming in about the flu making its way through homes, work places, care centers, and schools.
According to the CDC, the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. (It's never too late!) However, there are ways you can prevent illness, which include the 3 C's; Clean, Cover, and Contain.
Clean your hands. Wash your hands often. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
Cover your mouth and nose. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
Stay home when you are sick. Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
And be sure to practice other good health habits, as well. It is also helpful to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. (Don't forget cell phones, computer keyboards and mouses. door knobs and door handles). Get plenty of sleep, exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
For more information about symptoms and illness prevention, visit the CDC website.