Cales said probably one of the most important tips to avoiding the flu is to wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after sneezing, and to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth,
Also important is to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, and to throw the tissue in the trash if you used one while sneezing or coughing, Cales said.
“While people are acutely ill with the flu, while they’re actively sneezing or coughing and have a fever, we like to keep them home,” Cales said. “The way [flu] is spread is by air droplets.”
Getting vaccinated is also very important, said Cales, who has gotten vaccinated for both the seasonal flu and for the swine flu. He added that although the vaccine is a “mixed blessing,” it is much better than catching the flu, which he said could be very serious.
If you have either the flu or H1N1, it is recommended that you stay at home for at least 24 hours, save for getting medical care, and to keep away from others as much as is possible, Cale said.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 200,000 people per year are hospitalized and 36,000 people per year died from seasonal flu complications.
Cale said many of the most frequent symptoms of flu include fever, headache, malaise, a runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, a sore throat, vomiting, and a dry cough, although the cough and sore throat probably won’t be as bad as they would be with, for example, strep throat.