Want to help keep workers healthy this flu season? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends three steps to stay healthy.
- Get a flu shot. This is the most important step. Getting vaccinated is especially important for people at high risk for serious flu complications, including young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart or lung disease, and people 65 or older. People who live with high-risk people should also get a flu shot to protect their high-risk contact.
- Take everyday preventive steps. Those include covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Even coughing into your sleeve is better than into the air. Wash your hands often with warm soap and water for at least 15 seconds. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. If you get the flu, stay home from work. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because germs spread that way.
- Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them. There are prescription pills that keep the flu virus from reproducing in your body. They can make your illness milder and prevent serious complications. These drugs work best when taken soon after symptoms begin. Flu symptoms include high fever, headache, extreme fatigue, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches.
You can get free materials, such as handouts and posters, for your workplace from the CDC to encourage workers to take these steps. Just go to http://www.cdc.gov/flu/workplace/.