As we face this extraordinary flu season, consider these ten things you can do to protect ourself and others:

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Be sure to wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  2. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. Germs spread this way.
  3. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your elbow. Dispose of tissues in no-touch trash receptacles.
  4. Keep frequently touched common surfaces clean, such as telephones, computer keyboards, doorknobs, etc.
  5. Do not use other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment. If you need to use a coworker’s phone, desk, or other equipment, clean it first.
  6. Don’t spread the flu! If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home. Symptoms of flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, tiredness, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. CDC recommends that people with flu-like illness stay home for at least 24 hours after they are free of fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines. If supervisors or employees have questions about use of leave for illness or to care for an ill family member, please contact your local Human Resources office or your office’s leave administrator.
  7. Get vaccinated against seasonal flu. It can protect you against seasonal influenza viruses, but not against 2009 H1N1.
  8. Ask your doctor if you should get the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine. People recommended to receive the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available in October are health care workers, children, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes). People living with or caring for infants under 6 months old should also be vaccinated to protect these children who are too young to be vaccinated. For more information about who should get vaccinated, visit http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm .
  9. Maintain a healthy lifestyle through rest, diet, and exercise.
  10. Learn more. Visit http://www.flu.gov or contact CDC 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636),  TTY: (888) 232-6348,  mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it