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Say goodbye to germs

You don’t need to become a germ-phobe to stay healthy during cold and flu season. Reduce your risk of getting sick this winter with these tips:

  • Scrub those hands. Wash your hands frequently to keep germs you pick up from objects or other people from getting into your system. When soap and warm water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Disinfect. Use a bleach solution or another disinfectant on countertops, tables and other surfaces to keep your home germ free. Clean the kitchen and bathroom—which get the most use—often.
  • Keep your hands away from your face. Many people get sick by inadvertently touching germs, then rubbing them into their eyes, noses or mouths. Avoid touching your face without squeaky-clean hands.
  • Avoid the sick. The more you keep your distance from sick people, the better. Cancel a lunch date with a friend or stop water cooler chats with your co-worker for a day or two, if necessary.
  • Do unto others. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the crook of your arm when you sneeze or cough to avoid spreading germs. And stay home from work if your illness is severe enough to get others sick.
  • Get a flu shot. Different strains of the flu are spread each flu season. Lessen your chances of getting the flu—or suffer from a milder case if you do get it—by receiving a new vaccine every year.