10 Ways to Prevent Swine Flu

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  • 1. We can't say it enough: Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands! "Hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after touching objects, surfaces or another person's hands can physically remove cold viruses," Dr. Clifford W. Bassett, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital and faculty member of NYU School of Medicine told FOXNews.com.
  • 2. When water isn't available, use alcohol-based liquid hand sanitizers frequently, especially when hand washing is really not possible. If using a gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. It does not require water to work; the alcohol in it will kill hand germs. But remember that not all germicidal lotions will adequately kill cold viruses.
  • 3. If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose or mouth, Bassett said. He also recommends avoiding rubbing or touching your eyes and nose. "Don't touch your face. Cold and flu are often spread by hand-to-hand contact, so avoid directly facing an individual who is coughing and sneezing." If you do sneeze into your hands, make sure you clean them, and do this EVERY time you sneeze or cough.
  • 4. Limit your exposure (even brief contact) to those "sufferers," especially during the first several days of their flu symptoms.
  • 5. Stay home if you're experiencing any flu symptoms. Do not report to work!
  • 6. For individuals who are excessively stressed, some studies favor the use of daily vitamin C during the cold and flu season, Bassett said.
  • 7. Eating a balanced diet and getting adequate sleep is a good first step in keeping your immune system from getting overly stressed, Bassett said. When you're rested, you will be better prepared to fight off illness.
  • 8. Remind your children to practice healthy habits. And of course that means lots of hand washing, covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze and using hand sanitizers when water isn't available.
  • 9. Routinely clean and disinfect. "Remember, disinfecting actually destroys germs, it doesn't just clean surfaces," Bassett said. Follow instructions of all disinfectants. Germs may live on countertops and surfaces for hours or even days.
  • 10. Finally, if you have flu symptoms, see your doctor immediately. For more information, go to www.cdc.gov/cleanhands.

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