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8 Ways to Stop the Spread of Flu Germs

By Jenilee Matz, MPH, Contributing Writer
December 25, 2012; 9:14 AM ET
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Flu season can last from October through May, usually peaking in January and February. The best way to avoid the flu is to get a flu vaccine. But if you or someone in your home is already sick, try to keep the virus from spreading to other family members.

Photo courtesy of JackBunny

Flu germs spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing, and by touching contaminated surfaces and objects. Here are some tips that may help you keep the illness at bay:

-Stay home. To get over the flu and to prevent spreading it to others, stay home from work or school while you have flu symptoms. These may include body aches, fever, stuffy or runny nose, cough, headache, tiredness, and sore throat, Sometimes vomiting and diarrhea occur, but this is seen more often in children.

-Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. This is the most important step you can take to stop the spread of germs. Dry your hands with a disposable paper towel. Carry an alcohol-based hand gel, spray, or wipes when you are out in case soap and water aren't available. Wash your hands as soon as possible:


-Sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose
-Caring for a sick person
-Using the bathroom
-Changing a diaper
-Touching an animal or its environment
-Preparing food


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