How can I help prevent pandemic flu and protect myself and my family from catching it?
Follow these steps to avoid catching any kind of flu:
- Wash your hands properly and often. This page shows all the steps to proper hand washing.
- If you aren't near a sink, use an alcohol-based cleaner to wash your hands. Use enough alcohol-based cleaner to keep your hands wet for a minimum of 20 seconds. Rub your hands together as the cleaner dries. Make sure you rub the cleaner all over your hands. Don't forget to rub between your fingers, the backs of your hands and under your fingernails.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hand. If you cough up phlegm (mucus), spit it into a tissue, throw the tissue away and wash your hands properly right away.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
- Stay at home if you are sick. If you have flu symptoms, call your doctor or health-care provider. Depending on your symptoms, they may tell you to stay home or to come to the clinic or hospital.
- Use a regular household disinfectant to wash common surfaces every day. Make sure you wash:
- counters, taps and sinks in your bathroom and kitchen
- bedside tables
- children's toys
- computer keyboards
- desks and tabletops
- Wipe surfaces with paper towels that can be thrown away or cloth towels that can be washed afterwards. Use soap and water to clean the toys and objects that young children may put in their mouths.
- Stay away from people who may be sick.
- If possible, avoid crowded places.
- Keep good airflow in your home by opening windows.
- Stay healthy overall: get enough sleep, eat healthy food, exercise.
If you have a long-term lung disease like asthma or COPD, take extra steps to protect yourself.