Are You Prepared for Cold & Flu Season?
Because there are no known cures for colds and flu, prevention is key to a healthier lifestyle overall. One, you can get a flu shot. But most doctors say that the number one thing you can do is keep your hands clean. Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. Someone who has the flu sneezes onto their hand, then touches the telephone, the keyboard, etc. Since the germs can live for hours – even weeks – they are easily picked up by the next person who touches the same object. So wash your hands often or rub an alcohol-based hand sanitizer onto your hands.
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On average annually in the US, 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu, over 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and about 23,600 people die from flu-related causes. Not only can it affect you and your workforce, but absenteeism can derail operational efficiency.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a wealth of information and strategies for businesses.
Simmons University has a good pamphlet on Preventative Self-Care for Cold & Flu Season.
Preparedness Checklist for Colds And Flus
1. Prepare your workplace and post information about prevention. Make sure that you have soaps, sanitizers and paper towels in all bathrooms.
2. Have a first aid kit with alcohol wipes. Alcohol wipes not only sanitize hands, but they are helpful for other minor abrasions.
3. Stock up on hand sanitizers for every office or common area. Make sure you have plenty on hand for the long winter season.
4. If you get sick, STAY HOME and instruct your employees to the same. Direct contact is the number one way that the flu germs are spread and contracted. So send your sick people home to get well.
5. Install floor or countertop hygiene stations throughout the workplace. These hygiene stations take up very little room and provide employees with a quick and convenient way to sanitize.
Remember that sick employees get better faster if they are at home, and your workplace stays healthy.