The flu is spreading fiercely across the United States, with more than half of states reporting widespread activity. The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. Here are a few tips to help keep you healthy: avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. Stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth. Practice other good health habits and get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.