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Tips: How to protect others when you cough, sneeze

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN
January 11, 2013 -- Updated 2133 GMT (0533 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow
  • Use soap and warm water to wash your hands for 20 seconds
  • Clean your phone, too

(CNN) -- With dozens of states reporting widespread flu activity, it's important to protect everyone around you if you yourself feel like you are getting sick. Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

• Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze

• Put that used tissue in the trash; don't leave it lying around

Fast-spreading flu starting to slow?
Flu widespread in 41 states

• If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow

• Do not cough or sneeze into your hands

• Make sure you clean your hands after coughing or sneezing

• Use soap and warm water to wash your hands for 20 seconds

• Alcohol-based hand sanitizer can also help disinfect your hands

Sick? What to do if you have the flu

• Keep your distance from other people, avoiding close contact if you feel sick

• Stay home from work, school or doing errands

Had a flu shot? You'll be OK, maybe

Here's something you might not have thought of: Ygrafs 14-15our phone could have a lot of germs on it. And if you've just washed your hands and then start typing on your smart phone, you've just dirtied them again!

Dr. Geeta Nayyar, Chief Medical Information Officer at AT&T, recommends washing or disinfecting your phone -- safely, of course. Make sure you follow the instructions from your phone's manufacturer on how to properly clean the device, she said in an e-mail.

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