Washing your hands frequently can control viral spread, as can covering your mouth with a tissue or your arm when you sneeze.

Don't Share Flu This Holiday Season: HHS

"If you get sick, stay home as much as possible except to get medical care, if needed," said CDC's Dr. Phyllis Kozarsky, an expert on travelers' health issues.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging the public to take steps to prevent flu transmission while traveling and visiting relatives this holiday season. A recent HHS HealthBeat article concerned this topic and quoted CDC's Dr. Phyllis Kozarsky, who is an expert on travelers' health issues.

"If you get sick, stay home as much as possible except to get medical care, if needed," she said. "One sick relative at a family gathering can pass the flu to the rest of the family." Travel, parties, and family gatherings offer excellent conditions to spread the flu virus, according to HHS. Kozarsky said the best flu prevention is vaccination, but washing your hands frequently can control viral spread, as can covering your mouth with a tissue or your arm when you sneeze.

HHS offers lots of information about seasonal flu vaccination and vaccines at this website. A CDC podcast with Kozarsky, available here, explains how people can stay healthy and avoid the flu when traveling this winter. The podcast was created Dec. 13 by the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).

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