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5 Things You Can Do At Home To Avoid This Year’s Dreaded Flu

We’re experiencing the worst flu season since the swine flu of 2009.

During a recent news conference, Dr. Daniel B. Jernigan, director of the Center for Disease Control’s influenza division, says we can expect to see numbers similar to the 2014-2015 flu season, which claimed the lives of 56,000 people and sent more than 700,000 to the hospital.

So, how can you avoid getting infected? Getting vaccinated can help, but there are also things, easier things, you can do in your own home to help combat the flu virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these five tricks will help you stay healthy.

1. Wash Your Hands

And wash them often. Use soap and water. And if that’s not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

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2. Disinfect

Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu. Wipe down handles, knobs and other surfaces that come into hand contact often.

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3. Don’t Touch Your Face

If you’ve touched an infected surface and then touched your eyes, nose and/or face, you likely contaminated yourself. This is how germs are spread. Also, this goes without saying, but don’t touch other people while you’re at it.

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4. Toss Your Toothbrush

Once you’re infected, throw that petri dish in the trash. Flu, staph and strep live on toothbrushes, which are often damp.

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5. Stay Home 

Nobody wants to be around someone who is contagious. While staying home when you’re sick may seem like an obvious suggestion, not everyone does it. Heading into work is a good way to spread your germs and contaminate others. You’re better off quarantining yourself until you’re better. From the CDC: “If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)”

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