How to Avoid Getting Sick When You’re Around People All Day

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Our expert: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, who oversees research in preventing, diagnosing, and treating infectious diseases from flu to HIV.

“Wash your hands often. Use soap, and rub it around for 15 to 20 seconds to kill germs. You don’t want to miss a spot. Make sure to dry thoroughly. If you can’t get to a restroom, use hand sanitizer, again for 15 to 20 seconds. If you can’t wash your hands, don’t touch your face, eyes, or nose after shaking hands or even taking a file from someone.

“I clip my nails often because I don’t want to carry germs around. If you have long nails, scrape a little soap or sanitizer under the nails.

“Take vitamin C. It can enhance your body’s defense against microbes. I take 1,000 milligrams a day. Many people also do not get enough vitamin D, which affects a lot of body functions, so that would be helpful, too.

“Take care of yourself. Get seven to eight hours of sleep—most of us, including myself, don’t sleep as much as we’d like. Exercise, eat well, and keep well hydrated.”

Read more advice, tips, and tricks from Washington natives in our Secrets of the City package.

This article appears in our January 2016 issue of Washingtonian.