If someone in your house has the flu — and chances are they do — you might figure there’s very little you can do to avoid getting sick. But following a strict hygiene protocol could make a big difference, according to the experts.

Dr. Jason Kessler, chief of infectious diseases at Atlantic Health System's Morristown Medical Center, recommends everyone get a flu shot and wash their hands frequently.

He said it's also important for all household members to practice good cough etiquette by coughing into their sleeve or a tissue, not their hands.

Another good idea is to disinfect high-touch areas and surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, handles and toilets.

He said by doing this, “it will decrease the number of live flu viruses that may be residing on it. That will go a long way to reducing one’s chances of contracting the flu.”

He said another strategy to avoid getting sick is placing a mask on the person in your house that has the flu. Kessler said it’s important to discuss this option with ill family members who may have reservations about wearing a mask for any period of time.

“No prevention strategy will be 100 percent effective but I think if you follow these simple guidelines and practices, you’ve got a pretty good chance of avoiding getting sick.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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