15 Tips to Fight the Flu

What's Hot

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

19 Moves That Will Help You Retire Early and in StyleFamily

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

The 35 Two-Year Colleges That Produce the Highest EarnersCollege

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

7 Household Hacks That Save You CashAround The House

5 Reasons a Roth IRA Should Be Part of Your Retirement PlanGrow

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

Beware These 10 Retail Sales Tricks That Get You to Spend MoreMore

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

If you've avoided the flu so far this year, you're lucky. Here are tips to avoid the flu, and if your luck runs out, to fight it.

This flu season is already worse than the last – and it’s not over yet.

The influenza virus has been declared widespread in every state except Hawaii, Washington, D.C, California, and Mississippi. Public health emergencies have been declared in Boston and New York state.

If you’re tired of reading about “flu emergencies” and hearing about the rising numbers, there’s one thing you can do: Don’t become the next person infected, or if you’ve already caught it, don’t infect others. We’ve rounded up 15 tips to help.

How to avoid catching the flu

  1. Get vaccinated. If you ignored our advice in September to get a flu shot before the flu season started, it’s not too late. While some locations have stopped offering it, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said last week that supplies of the 2012-2013 vaccine are still available – and still the best prevention.
  2. Wash your hands – well and often. It’s the next-best way to avoid contagious illnesses like the flu virus. For a refresher course on how to properly wash your hands, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s written and video instructions.
  3. Carry hand sanitizer or alcohol wipes for when you don’t have access to soap and water.
  4. Avoid touching your face. Flu germs often enter our body through the mucous membranes of our eyes, nose, and mouth.
  5. Avoid knobs, handles, countertops, keyboards, and other shared surfaces, and wash your hands after touching them. It’s also wise to regularly clean such surfaces with alcohol wipes, especially if you live or work with someone who has the flu. According to the Mayo Clinic, the flu virus can stay alive for up to 48 hours outside of the body, especially on hard surfaces.
  6. Take care of yourself. When you’re sick or trying to avoid getting sick, it’s especially important to get enough sleep, drink enough fluids, eat healthy, and minimize stress.
  7. Quit smoking. It damages the tiny hairs (cilia) and mucous that line our airways and serve to protect us against infection-causing bacteria and viruses.

How to avoid spreading the flu

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Don’t sneeze into the air. Those microscopic droplets that fly when you sneeze are infectious, so try to sneeze into a tissue, your hands (and immediately wash them after), or even your elbow instead.
  3. Use tissues and paper towels – and promptly throw them away – instead of reusing a handkerchief.
  4. Limit contact with others as much as possible.
  5. Stay home from work if at all possible.
  6. Avoid children and the elderly, both of whom are especially susceptible to the flu. According to the CDC’s latest weekly flu report, 20 children have died of the virus since Sept. 30, 2012.
  7. Contact your doctor ASAP. Antiviral medications like Tamiflu can help relieve your symptoms and shorten the duration of your infection, but they work best if taken within 48 hours of getting sick. Check out the CDC’s What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs Q&A to learn more.
  8. Forget antibiotics. They may seem tempting because they worked on your last bacterial infection – or because your doctor offered them to you. But antibiotics never work on viral infections like the flu, so you’d just be wasting your money. In fact, antibiotics are one of the most overused medical treatments.
Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: Sam’s Club Reveals Details of Black Friday, 5 Other Holiday Sales

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,715 more deals!