Things to Do to Prevent the Flu

A new season is upon us. Soon (if not already) the sound of coughing, sneezing
and misery will fill the air as people get ill with influenza (commonly called
"the flu"). Unfortunately flu season is not something to celebrate. However it
is a time to prepare and take precautions to prevent you, your family, and your
co-workers from getting and spreading the flu.


Get your annual flu shot.
Getting the flu shot is one of the most effective ways to prevent catching and
spreading the flu virus. Each year there is a new vaccine to protect against
new strains of the influenza virus which is why you need a flu shot every year.
The best time to get the shot is early in the flu season, between October and
December. It is especially important for people who are at high risk of
flu-related complications to get the shot, including:

  • elderly people, aged 65 and over;

  • healthy children aged 6-23 months;

  • pregnant women;

  • those with chronic health conditions such as heart or lung problems, diabetes, cancer, weakened immune systems, kidney - disease, severe obesity, and anemia;

  • health care workers;

  • residents of nursing homes or other chronic care facilities.

If you provide essential community services, or work, live, or have contact
with people in high risk groups, you could potentially give the flu virus to
those in the high risk group. So be sure to get vaccinated against the flu.

Cover your cough and sneeze into your sleeve.

Sneeze and cough into your elbow or sleeve (NOT your hand), or use a tissue.

Throw away the tissue immediately after using and wash your hands.

Wash your hands properly, and often.

Hand washing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of
infections. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20
seconds to help remove bacteria and viruses. Be sure to remove any rings or
jewellery before washing, and to scrub your hands, wrists, and forearms and
between your fingers and under your nails.

Wash before and after eating, after you have been in a public place, after
using the washroom, after coughing and sneezing, and after touching surfaces
that may have been contaminated. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer, while not
effective as hand washing, is a good option to use when soap and running water
are not available.

Keep your hands away from your face.

You can catch germs when you touch contaminated objects or surfaces and then
touch your face. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent
the flu virus from entering your body.

When sick, stay home and avoid crowds.

If you have the flu, prevent spreading it to others; stay home from work or
school and avoid large crowds. Keep your distance from others until your
symptoms are gone. If they get worse, call your health care provider.

Keep it clean and disinfected.

Regularly clean and disinfect common surfaces such as doorknobs, light
switches, telephones, keyboards and other surfaces that can become contaminated
with bacteria and viruses. Viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to 48

Further Information - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety