Prevention How can I protect myself and others from infection? There are several effective steps that can stop the spread of influenza: Get a yearly flu vaccine. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way. Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you are sick with flu–like illness, stay home and self-isolate until recovered. CDC recommends that you stay home and keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick. Maintain a clean environment by cleaning frequently touched surfaces. Avoid sharing personal items such as tooth brushes, towels, or razors. Shower routinely and immediately after participating in exercise Additional information on stopping the spread of germs is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Influenza website. What household cleaning should be done to prevent the spread of influenza virus? To prevent the spread of influenza virus it is important to keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen counters and tables, door knobs, hand rails, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.