Despite busy schedules, increased travel and large gatherings with loved ones, staying healthy during the holiday season is possible with a few important steps. Flu experts from Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Centerand Washington Adventist Hospitals offer ways to prevent the flu, giving you and your family the greatest gift of all over the holidays—good health!

Flu Prevention Tips

  • Get a flu vaccination. An annual flu vaccination is the best defense against the flu. For the 2010-11 season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu vaccinations for anyone older than 6 months. This year’s vaccine will protect against H1N1 and two other strains of the flu.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Wash often with soap and water for 20 seconds including wrists, palms, backs of hands and under fingernails. Remember to wash your hands before preparing food and immediately after using the restroom.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue. After you cough or sneeze, dispose of tissues and wash your hands.
  • A void touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are easily spread that way.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids will help prevent illness.
  • A void close contact with people who are sick. If you’re sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after fever breaks to avoid spreading the illness.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. When you don’t have access to soap and water to wash your hands, an alcohol-based sanitizer is a good alternative. Apply to the palms of your hands and rub hands together, covering all surfaces until dry.