The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the number of people seeing their doctor for influenza-like illness is the highest since the pandemic in 2009. The CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination for all persons 6 months of age and older as flu viruses are likely to continue circulating for several more weeks.
According to the latest CDC flu report, thousands of cases of hospitalizations due to the flu have been confirmed. People 65 years of age or older make up the largest group of hospitalizations, followed by adults 50 to 64 years of age and children age 4 and younger. The number of deaths attributed to influenza is still growing. The American Red Cross has steps people can follow to help prevent the spread of the flu at work.
Here are 10 steps you can take to help prevent the spread of flu where you work:
1. Get a flu vaccine. It’s the best thing you can do to help stop the spread of the flu where you work.
2. If you begin to feel sick while at work, go home as soon as possible.
3. If you are sick with fever and respiratory symptoms, stay home from work until 24 hours after your fever is gone without taking medicine.
4. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
5. Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes.
6. People with the flu can spread it to others six feet away through their coughs and sneezes. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve. Don’t use your hands. Throw the tissues away and clean your hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
7. Disinfect surfaces everyone touches - door knobs, switches, handles, toys, phones, computers, remote controls, etc. People touch more surfaces than you think and flu germs can hide in crevasses.
8. Don’t use a co-worker’s phone, desk, computer or other tools.
9. Avoid shaking hands or coming in close contact with co-workers who may be ill.
10. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.