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Nov 07

Jenn Tucci, MPH, RD

How to Help Prevent Colds and Flu

by Jenn Tucci, MPH, RD

How to Help Prevent Colds and Flu

There are no known cures for colds and flu, so the goal is cold and flu prevention.  To help avoid getting and spreading cold and flu germs, follow these tips…

Wash your hands often. 
Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact, and the germs can live on hands for hours.  Scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails for at least 20 seconds.

Sneeze into your sleeve. 
When you feel a sneeze or cough coming and you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.  Avoid covering your sneezes and coughs with your hands.

Keep your environment clean. 
Clean any surface that gets touched often—like keyboards, phones, light switches, and doorknobs—with antiseptic wipes.

Don’t touch your face. 
Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, and mouth.  Besides keeping your hands off of your face, keep them off of your food too.  During cold and flu season, swap sandwiches and other handheld foods for foods that require a spoon or a fork.

One of the most effective ways to prevent the flu is to get the flu shot each fall.  Also, be sure to:

  • Eat your fruits and vegetables
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Reduce stress

A healthy lifestyle is the key to boosting your immune system!