If you have had the flu, this year or in years past, you know how important it is to avoid contact with it.

If you haven’t had the flu, rejoice in your good luck and keep it going by following the common sense advice of the experts.

This has been a brutal flu season already and one that continues to threaten us.

While the flu vaccine isn’t 100 percent guaranteed to keep you from contracting the illness, it is a useful tool in preventing its spread. Each year, health officials make their best estimate for how to protect us from what they think will be the most common strain of the flu.

If you haven’t done so already, make plans to get vaccinated. Doing so will help you avoid the dangerous flu. And, as importantly, it will help protect the people with whom you come into contact. That can be a particularly important decision for the old, young or those who are already suffering from other health complications that can make them more vulnerable to the flu.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are some simple steps that will help protect you and the people around you.

-- Avoid close contact.

-- Stay home when you are sick.

-- Cover your mouth and nose.

-- Clean your hands.

-- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

-- Practice other good health habits. This includes frequently cleaning and sanitizing surfaces at home and at work, getting plenty of sleep and exercise, managing stress, drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthy food.

Flu season is dangerous for all of us, but it can be deadly for some. There is no reason to wait until you or someone you love goes through the discomfort and danger the flu poses.

Simply adopt these healthy practices to help lessen your likelihood of getting or spreading the flu. You will be glad that you avoided it. And those around you will be glad that they too were protected.

They might not know to thank you, but your continued health will be all the thanks you need.

Do everything you can to get through the rest of the flu season without contracting or spreading the illness.

It is the right thing to do.

 

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.