Content on this page was developed during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic and has not been updated.
- The H1N1 virus that caused that pandemic is now a regular human flu virus and continues to circulate seasonally worldwide.
- The English language content on this website is being archived for historic and reference purposes only.
- For current, updated information on seasonal flu, including information about H1N1, see the CDC Seasonal Flu website.
Caring for Someone Sick at Home
Flu Germs are Spread from Person to Person
December 5, 2009, 6:00 AM ET
The flu is thought to spread mostly from person to person through coughs and sneezes of people who are sick with the flu.
Flu viruses may also survive for a few hours on surfaces such as doorknobs, phones, and cups. You may also get the flu if you touch these surfaces and then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose before washing your hands.
How to keep yourself and others healthy during flu season
- Talk to your doctor about whether you need both seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccines.
- 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. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Stay away from sick people as much as possible.
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