Seven helpful hints to fend off contagious illnesses

Lupus Foundation of America

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Experts agree that getting the appropriate annual vaccinations is the best way to prevent catching the flu, pneumococcal disease (pneumonia), and other infectious illnesses. The effectiveness of influenza vaccines varies from year to year, however, says the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and  it is possible that the influenza virus strains that end up predominating during the influenza season are not those covered by the vaccines. 

Here we offer some practical suggestions that will help you and those around you stay healthy throughout the year:
  1. Use bleach wipes to disinfect shared surfaces at work and home, such as counters, keyboards, and door handles.
  2. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you, and use it as necessary. 
  3. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, then clean your hands with hand sanitizer, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve, to stop germs from spreading.
  4. Wash your hands often with soap and hot water.
  5. If someone in the house is sick, use disposable products in the bathroom, such as paper towels and paper cups.
  6. Don’t ask for antibiotics; they don’t work on viruses that cause colds and flu. There are anti-viral medications; talk to your doctor about whether one is right for you.
  7. Avoid people who are sick, and if you get sick, stay home!