If your office is a sea of germs, keep them at bay with these tips from Dr. Melody Mendiola of the Hennepin County Medical Center clinic in Brooklyn Center:

• Keep your hands clean. Remember all those hand-sanitizer dispensers that offices installed during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009? They're still around, so start using them.

• Use antibacterial wipes to clean common-use items such as telephones and keyboards. Flu viruses last up to 12 hours on soft surfaces and 48 hours on hard surfaces, although in 2009, the Journal of Hospital Infection reported that researchers found live H1N1 viruses on computers after 72 hours.

• Insist that ill co-workers cover their coughs "with their sleeves, not their hands."

• Get a flu shot. "We hear a lot of people say that they won't get a flu shot because they got one last year and the shot made them sick," Mendiola said. "That's not true. The shot can't make you sick. It most likely was some other strain of the flu."