1. Take Action: Getting vaccinated is the single most important action to prevent the flu. You can get a flu shot at your doctor’s office or clinic. You may also be able to get a flu shot from your local health department, pharmacy, or employer. Check out the CDC’s Vaccination Information page for more information.
2. Cover Up: Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing. It’s best to sneeze or cough into a tissue or handkerchief, but if those aren’t available, use the crook of your elbow.
3. Keep Your Distance: If you are sick, be sure to stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. It is important to protect others from catching your symptoms. For those who are flu-free, be sure to avoid people who are visibly sick. If someone around you is sneezing or coughing, turn your head away, or even protect yourself by covering your mouth and nose. This is especially critical in tight places such as airplanes, elevators and ground public transportation.
4. Stay Sanitized: Wash your hands with warm water and soap, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer as often as possible. When washing, be sure to scrub for at least 20 seconds. It is also important to keep your hands off your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, to avoid getting germs in these sensitive areas where they can easily spread. It is also a good idea to bring sanitizing wipes with you when traveling. Use a wipe to pat down the airplane’s seatback tray, as well as your hotel room remote control, light switches, and door knobs as these places are often filled with germs.
5. Be Prepared: Before embarking on your travels, make sure to research the current flu activity in your destination. Staying up-to-date on your flu vaccine will keep your health in proper conditions because flu seasons can vary by location. If you do need to receive a flu vaccination, make sure to get it at least two weeks before you travel. Lastly, prepare a travel-size health kit that includes tissues, pain or fever medicine and hand sanitizer to prevent flu-like symptoms.