Although spring is here and the weather is warming up, flu season is not completely over.

Instances of the flu can be seen as late as May, so it’s important to continue to take precautions against catching the flu.

The flu virus can be especially dangerous for children, pregnant women and the elderly, but it’s important that everyone avoid spreading germs.

Good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses.

1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2. If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others. If your children are sick, keep them home from daycare.
3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing to avoid germs traveling farther through the air.
4. Wash your hands to help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. A general rule of thumb is to wash for at least 20 seconds, or the length of time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. One item that can benefit from disinfection is your cell phone - think about everywhere it sits during the day and the many different surfaces it comes into contact with. Wipe your phone down often.
7. Maintain your immune system while you’re well to keep it strong. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

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