Cold and Flu : Strategies to Avoid the Sniffles

Healthy habits go a long way toward helping to stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. Make this a season of wellness rather than a season of sniffles with the following tips from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Avoid close contact. Try to avoid contact with people who are sick, and when you are sick, keep your distance -- if possible, stay home from work, school, and errands to prevent spreading your illness to others.

Cover your mouth and nose. When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. It may help prevent those around you from getting sick.

Wash your hands. This may seem like a no-brainer, but washing your hands often with soap and water will help protect you from germs. The CDC recommends washing them for about 20 seconds, or as long as it takes to sing two rounds of "Happy Birthday."

Avoid touching your eyes, noes, and mouth. Your hands are covered in germs that can make you sick, and they can enter the body through the mucous membranes in your nostrils, nose, and eyes.

Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, drink plenty of fluids, and enjoy a nutritious diet to stay well throughout cold and flu season and beyond.