The influenza virus is one of the most common one and there are very few persons who had never had flu in their life. It is a highly contagious viral infection of the lungs and the air passages and is communicated by air. As a result, every year, a huge number of cases of flu are reported. This results in loss of working days and a decrease in productivity. It is estimated that every year 70 million workdays are lost as a result of flu. That is why; many people try to come to work even though they are suffering from flu. By doing this they put their colleagues’ health in danger because the risk of infection is so great.
7 steps to prevent flu at workspace
Here are seven great tips to prevent flu at the workplace:
1. Wash your hands frequently for about 20 seconds using warm water or soap. This should be done especially after you touch a shared item like phone, copier machine, keyboard, coffeemaker handle, tools, doorknobs, countertops or buttons of an elevator.
2. Avoid touching your face after having touched any of the shared items listed above or after you have shaken hands with someone. Keep an alcohol based gel hand sanitizer to use after you have touched someone – or something – else.
3. Keep a stock of disinfectant wipes. Wipe down the desktop surface, keyboard and the phone before you start handling them in the morning and a few times in between.
4. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Keep tissue paper handy and throw them away after you have used them. If you cover your mouth with your hand while sneezing, wash your hands immediately afterwards.
5. According to one survey, most cases of workplace flu spread by cross infection when sick people show up for work. So, if you are feeling sick and anticipate flu coming on, the best course of action is to call in sick. Otherwise, you will spread the infection among your colleagues and you will not be able to perform very well because you are sick. So, reporting to work when you are infected with flu is of no help to anybody.
6. Wash your water bottle daily and do not share it with anyone.
7. Make sure your office is well ventilated and is aired out frequently. Otherwise, infection from one person will spread quickly through the entire workplace.
Yearly vaccination is probably the best flu prevention
Every year, flu shots are given at the beginning of the flu season in November. The composition changes every year. It is best to take these yearly flu shots. They grant you some measure of protection against cross contamination of influenza at the workplace. Drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy to boost your immune system. Reduce the intake of alcohol and tobacco as they make you more vulnerable to flu. Finally, a regime of regular moderate exercise helps you to keep fit.