Stay healthy this flu season
Now that we are in the heart of flu season, it’s time for a friendly
reminder on what each of us can do to prevent the spread of the virus.
The first step is to get vaccinated. Get a flu shot and, especially if you are in the target group, get vaccinated against H1N1, more popularly known as swine flu. Target groups include children younger than 5, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as chronic lung disease, blood disorders and diabetes. The second step? Stay home from work when you’re sick. Or go home from work as soon as you get sick. Bosses should make sure employees know it is OK to go home and stay home for the duration of their illness. That’s true even when, especially when, things are hectic at work. In the long run, such an enlightened approach will ensure higher productivity from all employees and a healthier environment.
People should also make sure surfaces that get frequent hand contact, whether at home or at work, are cleaned regularly. Flu viruses can survive on hard surfaces like door handles and infect someone two to eight hours later.
The third step is to practice proper etiquette. Wash your hands frequently, and for 15 or 20 seconds. Cover your cough with something other than your hand — like an elbow or a clean tissue. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as germs can be spread that way. You might even want to carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you get caught away from hot water and soap.
People who do catch the flu should get treated promptly. This can prevent more serious complications from developing. During the heart of flu season, the more we take personal action, the better our odds of avoiding the virus. Do your part to prevent the flu from spreading.