If your workplace has avoided this season’s flu outbreak, consider yourself lucky. Thousands of hospitals nationwide have made changes to their visitor policies, patient intake procedures, and more to help decrease the spread of this season’s flu viruses.
As of January 16, 2015, the CDC reported the virus as “widespread” across all but four states and the District of Columbia. The CDC recommends that everyone over 6 months of age receive the flu vaccination, reporting it as “the best way to prevent people from getting the flu”. However, reports show that the current vaccination is not effective on several strands of the H3N2 virus.
In additional to vaccination there are several ways to prevent the virus from quickly spreading through the workplace:
- Remember that those who have the flu are contagious from one day before symptoms appear up to a week after symptoms appear.
- The flu can be spread from up to 6 feet away. Experts from the CDC report far more people become ill from droplets spread through coughs, sneezes, and droplets released from talking rather than from touching surfaces that have the flu virus on it.
- Cleaning and disinfecting common areas more often is a critical to controlling the spread of the virus. Kitchen areas, break rooms, bathrooms, copy rooms, and elevator buttons should be disinfected daily during peak flu seasons.
- Encourage your staff to stay home when feeling ill and immediately following becoming sick.
- Encourage your staff to wash and sanitize their hands regularly, especially before eating, after greeting visitors, or making cold calls.
Maintaining a healthy workplace and minimizing the spread of illness can greatly reduce several health risks, medical costs, extended absences, and loss in productivity.
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Trillium, a national leader in staffing and recruitment is a valued staffing partner to over 5,000 companies nationwide. Trillium is privately owned by Oskar René Poch.