Help Stop The Spread Of Influenza

September 20 2017

Five ways to prevent the spread of flu at home, work, and school.

One of the most effective ways to protect you, your friends and family from influenza (the flu) is to practise good personal hygiene.

Below are five ways to prevent the spread of the flu.


1. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough

The flu virus can travel through the air when a person coughs or sneezes. When you cough or sneeze you should turn away from other people and, where possible, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve. Remember to wash your hands as soon as possible afterwards.

Where possible, use disposable tissues rather than a handkerchief, which could store the virus, and always put the used tissue into the nearest bin, rather than a pocket or handbag.


2. Wash your hands

Washing your hands regularly even when they aren’t visibly dirty is the single most effective way of killing the flu virus. Alcohol-based hand products are an alternative to soap and water.

Always wash your hands:

  • after you’ve been to the toilet
  • after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
  • after being in contact with someone who has a cold or flu
  • before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth and
  • before preparing food and eating.


3. Don’t share personal items

The flu virus can spread when someone touches an object with the virus on it and then touches their face.

If a member of your household has the flu:

  • keep their personal items, such as towels, bedding and toothbrushes separate; and
  • do not share eating and drinking utensils, food or drinks.


4. Clean surfaces

Flu viruses can live on surfaces for a number of hours. You should regularly clean surfaces such as tables, benches and fridge doors with soap and water or detergent.


5. Avoid close contact with others

Keeping your distance from others (at least 1 metre apart) when you are feeling unwell will help reduce the chances of spreading the flu virus to other people.

Avoid going out in public when you are sick. If you have the flu, you should remain at home while you are unwell and have a fever. You should not go to work or school or attend other public gatherings and avoid taking public transport.


If you are concerned that you may be at risk of the flu and experiencing any symptoms such as chills, fever over 38 degrees Celsius, dry cough, headache, muscle pains, sore throat, tiredness, stuffy nose, trouble breathing, please consult your GP, ask your pharmacist, or call to schedule an appointment with one of our medical professionals on 03 5229 5192 (Myers Street Family Medical Practice) or 03 5241 6129 (The Cottage Medical Centre).


Resourced from the Department of Health – Flu Brochure