The first step to preventing flu is to get your flu shot, especially people in "high-risk" groups- those living in nursing homes, people with chronic health conditions, and people over the age of 50. Just about everyone can get a flu shot, even children as young as 6 months.
Valerie Sparks with Midland Memorial Hospital's Infection Prevention Department explains some other ways to prevent the flu:
"Basic hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the flu from spreading. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Or, if you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow. Be sure to wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer, especially after touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Also clean your phone and keyboards"
If you're already feeling sick, you may not be sure if you have the flu. Several symptoms are the same as other illnesses, mainly the common cold. Sneezing, sore throat, cough, muscle aches....All characteristic of the flu and cold. Symptoms may seem much the same, but you can usually tell the difference by the duration and intensity of the illness-flu has fever of 101 or higher...common cold- none or mild.
If you find yourself sick with flu or other illness, stay home and limit contact with others to keep from spreading it. If you have a fever of 101 degrees or higher that doesn't go away, any respiratory issues, or you just aren't getting better, see your primary care physician.