RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Flu activity is increasing in Virginia.
Widespread flu activity has been reported in Virginia and 20 other states across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
People are also fighting colds and other infections, Patient First says.
What are the best ways to fight off the flu and colds? Here are a few tips from Patient First to help you avoid the bug:
- Wash your hands: This is the single most important way to stop the spread of colds and flu. According to the CDC, about 80 percent of infectious diseases are spread through touch alone. Scrub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol is a good substitute if soap and water are not available.
- Cover up when you sneeze and cough: Many of us were taught to cover our mouths and noses with our hands when sneezing and coughing. A better option is to use the crook of your elbow or a tissue when available. This way, the germs will not get on your hands and spread through contact with others.
- Disinfect: Cold and flu germs can live on surfaces for hours. Disinfecting items like remote controls, doorknobs, table tops, keyboards, phones and toys can kill the germs and stop them from spreading.
- Don’t share your germs: Take steps to stop the spread of colds and flu at home and work. Stay home from work when you know you’re sick. The same goes for sending sick children to school. Keep them home. If you have the flu, be sure to stay home until you have been fever-free without medicine for at least 24 hours to avoid making others sick.
- Live healthy: Help yourself win the battle of the bug by eating healthy, getting a good night sleep, exercising and reducing stress. These things can help strengthen your immune system and potentially make your body more capable of fighting a cold or virus.