How to Prevent an H1N1 Infection

H1N1 is spread by droplets expelled from someone who is sick via coughing or sneezing. In most cases you must be in close proximity to a person who has H1N1 in order to contract the flu. You can reduce your risk of contracting H1N1 by following good personal hygiene rules.

  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently, particularly before eating. Hand sanitizers are also effective if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover the nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing. Dispose of tissues promptly.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth, unless hands are freshly washed, and wash hands after touching these surfaces.
  • Avoid contact with individuals who have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, body aches, vomiting/diarrhea).

Surgical Facemasks and Respirators: The use of a surgical face mask or respirator is not a substitute for practicing good personal hygiene. Both the CDC and WHO are not recommending the use of respirators or surgical face masks for the general population. These measures should only be applied by people who have flu-like symptoms or have tested positive for H1N1 to help them reduce the spread of their contagions and those who are immediately involved in their care. The CDC has very specific face mask and respirator use recommendations.