How the Flu Works

Avoiding the Flu

man sneezing
This guy needs to wash his hands -- and so do you.
Peter Cade/Iconica/Getty Images

Experts say the best way to avoid catching the flu is to practice good hygiene during flu season. Here are a couple of tips:

  • Wash your hands throughout the day with warm water and soap.
  • Avoid anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

If you do get sick, you can avoid infecting others if you:


  • Stay home until you're feeling better.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue whenever you cough or sneeze.
  • If you have to sneeze or cough into your hands, wash them thoroughly afterward with warm water and soap.

­ Remember that you can spread the flu for up to seven days after you get sick, so be careful with your germs even after most of your symptoms have passed.

In the next section, we'll take a look at the flu vaccine and see how it wards off this illness.