• The flu virus is found in almost invisible little droplets from saliva, sneezes, coughs and runny noses. The virus can live on surfaces for hours, and is spread when people touch the infected surface. But stopping the spread of flu is as simple as following three simple steps: cough or sneeze into your elbow, wash your hands thoroughly and get your flu shot. If you’re really unwell, avoid going to work or school or visiting busy public places.
  • If you don’t have a tissue handy and you feel a sneeze or cough coming on, cough or sneeze into your elbow. It stops your hands getting covered in the flu virus so it will help stop the spread of those nasty germs. If you do use a tissue, make sure you dispose of it into a bin nearby and then wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Hands are one of the top spreaders of germs and viruses, including the flu virus. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water at regular intervals throughout the day is a quick and easy way to help stop the spread of flu causing germs.
  • Most adults can infect others up to seven days after becoming sick, so the best way to avoid spreading the flu is to stay at home while you are unwell. In particular, avoid going to work or school or visiting busy public places and vulnerable people, such as the elderly.
  • The best things you can do to look after yourself if you have the flu are:
    • Rest – you will probably feel very weak and tired until your temperature returns to normal (about three days), and resting will provide comfort and allow your body to use its energy to fight the infection.
    • Stay at home – stay away from work or school and avoid contact with others as much as possible while the infection is contagious. The period during which adults are contagious is usually around 3–5 days from when the first symptoms appear, and up to 7 days in younger children.
    • Drink plenty of fluids – extra fluids are needed to replace those lost because of the fever (through sweating). If your urine is dark, you need to drink more. Try to drink a glass of fluids, such as water, every hour while you are awake.