As the number of swine flu cases worldwide continues to rise, it's wise to take precautions to prevent the illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a few simple steps to reduce your chances of infection:
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. When you don't have a tissue handy, use an arm or elbow, not your hand.
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 that way.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through the coughing or sneezing of infected people.
If you get sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
For the latest news, visit the CDC's information page on swine flu - http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/. Also check out CDC's guidance on how to plan and prepare - http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/individual/index.html, CNN - http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/30/ep.swine.flu.questions.answers/inde... a New York Times blog - http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/readers-questions-the-swine... and ABC - http://abcnews.go.com/Health/SwineFlu/Story?id=7464002&page=1; offer answers to common questions.