Is There Anything I Can Do To Avoid Getting A Cold Or Flu From A Sick Family Member Or Co-Worker?

Dr. Jon Abramson answers the question: 'Catching A Cold/Flu From A Co-worker?'

ByJon Abramson, M.D., Prof. and Chairman, Dept. of Pediatrics, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
September 25, 2008, 10:06 AM

— -- Question: Is there anything I can do to avoid getting a cold or flu from a sick family member or co-worker?

Answer: Well, especially for the common cold, the most important thing you can do is to wash your hands -- if you yourself have a cold or if other members in the family have a cold, they should wash their hands. Also, when you're coughing or sneezing, you should cover your face with either your hands or your elbow. Or Kleenex or handkerchiefs are great if you have them.

Another very important thing you can do for the flu is you can get vaccinated. The vaccine, most years, is about 70 to 80 percent effective in preventing the flu. And it's now recommended by the CDC that all children six months to 18 years of age get a flu vaccine every year, and that all high-risk adults, say adults for instance with asthma or heart disease, get the flu vaccine. Also, everyone older than 65 get the flu vaccine.

Next: Are There Any Prescription Medicines I Can Take To Prevent The Flu?

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