Unless you’ve been hiding out under the covers shivering, nursing a fever and clutching your achy bones, you probably know this has been a brutal flu season.

What you may not know is there are measures you can take to avoid the flu -- and most of them are pretty darned simple. So, what are they?

Get a flu shot

This is the most obvious and well-known step you can take. “Flu shot” is the phrase of 2013 so far and for good reason. The Centers for Disease Control says, “An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others.” It's hard to state it any clearer other than getting a flu shot is really, really smart.

Be sensible

Not feeling well? Stay home from work. About to sneeze or cough? Cover your mouth. Going to the bathroom? Wash your hands. Being clean and safe are simple ways to avoid spreading the flu virus and other germs. And even if it wasn't flu season, these are good, sensible tips to stay healthy, anyway.

Practice good health

There are some basic rules to follow to help maintain good health and make sure the flu doesn't get ahold of you. Take vitamins, which can boost your immune system. Avoid cigarettes because smoke blocks cells in the nose that can remove viruses before they have a chance to do damage. Make sure you sleep enough, which helps increase your immune system. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can have a negative impact on your immune system.


Did you know the flu virus can live for three days on such items as desks, phones and other work paraphernalia? When you’re at work and coming into contact with other people, that means you should clean your work area multiple times on a daily basis to kill the viruses. Use hand sanitizer or hand wipes to keep everything clean, too.

Don’t touch your face

It’s common for the flu virus to live on your hands, so it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you rub your eyes or nose you’re going to be giving the virus an all-expense paid trip into your body, potentially making you very sick. Not touching your face may sound easy, but it’s not – studies show people do it 16 times an hour. Another study found that people in public places touched their face about three-and-a-half times an hour and that’s after they touched common areas. Yuck!

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