Cough, sniffle, achoo! It’s that time of year where cold and flu germs have ways of getting around.
They spread when someone coughs, sneezes or even talks. They also can land on surfaces hitching a ride when you touch them with your hands.
How do you fight flu and cold germs?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months and older is the single best way to avoid getting the flu. But there’s more you can do.
These strategies can help keep you and your family from getting or passing along a cold or flu bug:
Wash your hands
Be sure to wash your hands regularly to remove any germs. A good, thorough scrubbing is key. Sing “Happy Birthday” twice, which is about 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
Use hand sanitizer
Soap and water aren’t always available. So keep hand sanitizer in your car, your bag and your workspace too. Look for products that contain at least 60 percent alcohol.
Keep your hands away from your face
Try to limit how much you touch your face. Germs can enter your body through your eyes, nose or mouth.
Cover your cough
Make it a habit to cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow. Teach kids this trick too.
Keep your distance
As much as possible, try to avoid close contact with anyone who’s sick. If you do get sick, stay home until you’re better.
Keep counters clean
Regularly clean surfaces you touch often — such as keyboards, phones, remote controls, door handles and countertops. Use soapy water and a household disinfectant.
Build a strong defense
When you take care of yourself, you help your body fight off illness. So be sure to get plenty of sleep. Choose healthy foods — and get regular exercise.
What tips do you have for fighting colds and the flu?