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Preventing Illness

Influenza and the common cold virus are all transmitted the same way. Follow the tips below as the best options for avoiding these viruses and to stay healthy.

Frequent Hand Hygiene

Washing your hands often using soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub will help protect you from germs.

Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose or Mouth, Preparing Food, or Eating with Unwashed hands
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Avoid Close Contact
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Wear a Mask or Face Covering
Wear a mask or face covering to help prevent respiratory droplets from spreading to others.

Stay Home When You Are Sick
Stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

Cover Your Mouth and Nose
Cover your mouth and nose and/or cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Practice hand hygiene after coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.


CDC Frequently Asked Questions
CDC Influenza
Massachusetts Department of Public Health