1. Stay home so that you avoid spreading germs to others.

How long do I stay home?

  • If you get flu-like symptoms, stay home after you get sick to lower the chances of spreading your illness to others.
  • Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines, such as acetaminophen. This will help ensure that your fever is truly gone and you are past the point of being contagious.
  • Children and people with weakened immune systems may need to stay home longer.

Why is this important?
Your body needs rest to recover from illness. It can take longer to feel better when you do not rest. You can spread the flu virus up to 24 hours after symptoms subside. People with weakened immune systems often need even more time to recover and to stop being contagious

2. Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

What to Do:

  • Stay at least 3 feet away from sick people when possible
  • Why is this important?
  • Droplets from coughs or sneezes containing flu virus can travel at least 3 feet, so keeping this distance from sick people can help lower your chance of getting sick.

3. Covering your coughs and sneezes.

What to do:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Throw away the used tissue, and then wash your hands.

Why is this important?

  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue helps prevent the spread of the flu virus through the air and on your hands.

4. Washing your hands.

What to do:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water.
  •  If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Why is this important?
Washing your hands lowers the amount of flu virus that can spread when you shake someone’s hands or touch surfaces and objects such as desks and doorknobs. It is especially important to wash your hands before and after touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

5. Cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects.
What to do:
Clean surfaces and objects that are touched often, including desks, doorknobs, railings, computer keyboards, phones, and toys.
Does cleaning with soap and water remove the flu virus?

  • Yes, soap and water is all you need to remove the flu virus.
  • You can also use a bleach-and-water solution or disinfectant with a label that says “EPA approved” for killing bacteria and viruses. Always follow directions on product labels.

Why is this important?
The flu virus can remain on surfaces for up to 48 hours. Cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects lowers the amount of flu virus that can be spread when you touch an infected surface and then your eyes, nose, or mouth.