Don’t get tackled by the flu if you go to a Super Bowl party this weekend.
Some simple precautions can protect you and others, said Libby Richards, an associate professor who specializes in public health at Purdue University School of Nursing in West Lafayette, Ind.
“If you are sick or a family member or friend you are planning on visiting for a Super Bowl gathering is sick with the flu or influenza-like illnesses, you should avoid contact,” Richards said in a university news release.
“Don’t visit until the symptoms have resolved — even if that means having to stay home for the big game,” she advised.
If you’re hosting a party, encourage people to wash their hands before eating and to use utensils when they handle food. Have antibacterial hand gel near common gathering places and provide paper towels, not cloth, in bathrooms.
After high-fiving with others to celebrate a great play: “Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth afterward, as that is an easy way to transfer germs,” Richards said.
The United States has recently seen an increase in flu activity, according to the latest update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At least 15 million people have been diagnosed with the flu this season, resulting in 140,000 hospitalizations and 8,200 deaths, including 54 children, the CDC said.
The best way to protect yourself is to get a flu shot, Richards said.
If you do get the flu, you can rest, drink plenty of fluids, limit contact with others and use over-the-counter medications. If your symptoms get worse, contact your health care provider or go to an urgent care facility, Richards advised.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on flu prevention.