Prevention

Getting the annual flu shot, proper hand-washing and staying home when sick are key in making sure you are as healthy as possible.  

We recommend everyone age 6 months or older get a flu vaccine. Flu vaccination is especially important this season because the flu and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cause similar symptoms. 

The influenza vaccine is not 100% effective, so it's also important to take several measures to reduce the spread of infection, including:

  • Wash your hands. Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is an effective way to prevent many common infections. Or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water aren't available.

  • Avoid touching your face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. Then wash your hands.

  • Clean surfaces. Regularly clean often-touched surfaces to prevent spread of infection from touching a surface with the virus on it and then your face.

  • Avoid crowds. The flu spreads easily wherever people gather — in childcare centers, schools, office buildings, auditoriums and public transportation. By avoiding crowds during peak flu season, you reduce your chances of infection.

  • Also avoid anyone who is sick. And, if you are sick, stay home so that you lessen your chance of infecting others.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, both COVID-19 and the flu may be spreading at the same time. Practice physical distancing and stay at least 6 feet apart (2 meters) from others outside your household. 

Page Last Updated: 26/01/2021