Preventing Spread of the Flu

Five Steps to Prevent Spreading the Flu

Taking precautions for the flu season is a responsibility we all share. Here are five basic steps to keep you and your family healthy and keep the flu from spreading in your community.

Step One: Make Prevention the First Line of Defense

Everyone needs to practice good hand-washing routines often with soap and water. Remind your family members to cough or sneeze into their sleeves or into tissues, not into their hands. These steps are easy, but they only work if every member of the family participates.

Step Two: Get Vaccinated

Vaccines are the best means we have to make sure that families and communities are protected from the flu. Vaccines for both H1N1 and seasonal flu are available. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration are working around the clock with vaccine manufacturers to make sure that flu vaccines are safe and effective.

Step Three: Stay Home if You're Sick
If you’re sick, stay home. Here are some seasonal flu symptoms:
  • Achiness
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Vomiting
Both H1N1 and seasonal flu viruses can be severe and occasionally deadly.

Step Four: Start Planning Now

Ask yourself these questions:
  • Have I talked with my employer about what to do in case I need to be out?
  • If I work and my child becomes sick, have I made arrangements for child care?

Step Five: Get More Information is a one-stop, government-wide resource with planning tools to get a jump-start on the flu season.