3. Wash your hands
“Handwashing is probably the most revolutionary public health measure—right up there with immunization—for stopping the spread of infection,” says Pierre Plourde, MD, medical officer of health with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. After all, you only need to make contact with a cold or flu virus and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth to get infected. But do it right: Wash for 20 seconds using soap and warm water.
Experts recommend frequent hand washing throughout the day—before and after eating, after using the washroom and after coughing, sneezing or touching surfaces that may have been touched by sick people. And stay away from antibacterial soaps, hand washes and gels—they make it easier for bacteria to build resistance. Use alcohol gels instead, advises Dr. Plourde.