Ways to Prevent Cold and Flu

Updated at: Jul 01, 2013
Ways to Prevent Cold and Flu

Ways to prevent cold and flu include certain lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, increasing the intake of water, being more physically active, sleeping adequately, besides some home remedies.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Communicable DiseasesWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Aug 29, 2012

Ways to Prevent Cold and Flu

Cold and flu are the commonest illness which cause people to miss work and school. 


Ways to prevent Cold

There is no vaccine or specific medication for prevention of cold. Measures to prevent cold include:

  • Avoid infected individuals:
  • Wash hand frequently with soap and water as this helps to destroy viruses that are acquired from touching contaminated surfaces.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing to prevent infecting people around you.
  • Do not share utensils and other items such as napkins or towels if someone in your family has a cold.
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle such as quit smoking and learn stress management.

[Read: Healthy Habits to Fight Cold and Flu]

Ways to prevent flu

The best way to prevent flu is to get seasonal flu shot every year. Other ways to prevent flu include:

  • Follow good hygiene habits such as cover your mouth while coughing to prevent flu and other respiratory illnesses.
  • Wash hand frequently with soap and water as this helps to destroy viruses that are acquired from touching contaminated surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people with cold and flu like illness.
  • Do not go to work or school if you have flu like illness.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth as germs often spread from hands (hands get contaminated when you touch something that is contaminated and then when you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth you get infected).
  • Some anti-viral drugs can help to prevent and treat flu. Consult your doctor to know if you need medications to prevent flu.

[Read: Symptoms of Cold and Flu]


Experts recommend that everyone should get a flu shot every year to prevent flu but the following groups should definitely get vaccinated as they are at high risk of catching flu or having serious flu-related complications.

[Read: Tips to Stay Healthy in Cold and Flu Season]


  • Pregnant women.
  • Young children (<5 years of age especially children younger than 2 years).
  • People >50 years of age.
  • People with certain chronic medical conditions such as COPD, bronchiectasis and severe asthma.
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
  • Health care workers.
  • The family of a person who is at high risk for complications from flu infection.
  • The immediate family and other caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (as these children are too young to be vaccinated)


Besides these in order to prevent cold and flu adopt a healthy life style measures such as sleep adequately, be physically active, try to reduce your stress, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy food and quit smoking.

Read more articles on Cold and Flu




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