Steps to Prevent the Flu

The state has provided basic information on how to prevent the flu.

With the flu breaking out around the state, the state has listed five steps to help keep the virus from spreading.

Take the following steps to help prevent getting the flu or spreading it to others. These are good habits to have whether or not people around you are sick.

1. Get the flu vaccine.

The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year.

2. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

  • Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away right after you use it.
  • Clean your hands after you cough or sneeze. Use soap and warm water. If they are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (such as Purell® or a store brand).
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hands, if you don’t have a tissue.

3. Wash your hands

  • Handwashing is the best way to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Wash your hands often during the day, but especially before preparing or eating food, after going to the bathroom or changing a diaper, and before and after taking care of someone who is sick.
  • Make sure that your children know how to wash their hands the right way. Teach them to sing “Happy Birthday” twice to make sure they spend enough time when they wash their hand


  • Wet your hands with warm water and put soap on them.
  • Rub your hands together to make a lather. Scrub all parts of your hands.
  • Continue rubbing your hands for 15–20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands well under running water.
  • Dry your hands with a towel or paper towel. Throw used paper towels away right after use.
  • Someone who is sick should use a separate towel or paper towel to dry off.
  • In public restrooms, dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use a paper towel to turn off the water so your clean hands do not touch the faucet.

4. Limit contact with others.

  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • Do not allow visitors while people in your home are sick.
  • The person with the flu should stay in a separate room if possible and limit contact with others for about 5-7 days.
  • Do not share food, eating utensils, or drinks.

5. Clean your home

  • Clean dishes and laundry with hot water and soap. Use a dishwasher if one is available.
  • Clean surfaces touched by a person who is sick with a household disinfectant, like Lysol®, Clorox Clean Up®, or a store brand. Clean surfaces such as tabletops, telephones, nightstands, remote controls, counter- tops, doorknobs, and kitchen and bathroom cabinet knobs.


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