Win the War Against Germs: 5 Tips to Prevent the Flu at Work

Prevent The FluIn sickness and in health…professionals are coming to work. And you could be sitting right next to them wondering, “How in the world am I going to prevent the flu when this person looks like they belong in a NyQuil commercial?”

Sick? Stay Home

With a limited number of sick days, workers feel pressured to go to the office while under the weather. In fact, a new survey tells us that 85% of employees admit to doing so. Whether they feel guilty about letting the coworkers down, worried about work piling up, or just don’t want to ‘burn’ a sick day, it’s bad for business.

An article in Bloomberg points out, “Presenteeism—showing up at work ill, whether they’re contagious or not—costs companies about $150 billion a year, one study estimated. A worker is about a third as productive when he’s slumped in a desk chair working at half-speed as he is when he’s healthy, say researchers.”

With the ability to telecommute, a lot of businesses are saying, “STAY HOME.” Losing one day is better than affecting the entire team. Often people are contagious from the day before they realize they’re sick to about five days after.

Tips to Prevent the Flu

Make a point to heed these tips at the office

1. Wash Up with Soap and Water

Did you know that the typical office desk can have 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat?!

The quickest way to clear away germs is by washing your hands regularly. Doorknobs, telephones, elevator buttons, computer keyboards, water fountain buttons and even the refrigerator door in the office break room can host millions of germs and bacteria at any given time. Disinfect these objects often and then wash up.

By washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, you can protect yourself from germs that cause the common cold and avoid spreading illness to others.

2. Keep Your Distance

Sneeze droplets can travel as far as six feet. These droplets can get in your mouth or nose if you breathe them in; if you hear a sneeze. Duck! At least keep your distance if you notice a co-worker is coughing, sneezing or sniffling; that’s how diseases spread.

3. Get Prepared

These germs can also sit on objects near you. If you touch something that’s contaminated, avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose…or you may likely get sick. Place tissues and hand sanitizer everywhere to subtly encourage others at the office to use them, too.

4. Be Well

Best practices for wellness include: staying hydrated, reducing stress, exercising, eating whole foods and getting enough sleep.

In addition, lose the extra booze. Alcohol interferes with sleep quality which can directly impact your immune system. These are all simple ways to keep you healthy and productive through the entire cold and flu season.

5. Get the Flu Shot

And, of course, the easiest and surest way to prevent the flu is with a flu shot. And because the influenza viruses change every season, it’s important to get vaccinated every year.

Stay Healthy and Prevent the Flu with eMedical Urgent Care

Win the war against germs this winter and prevent the flu at work. If a coworker comes to work sick, remind them to stay home. Or just send them a link to our blog.

Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.

Flu Activity in New Jersey Hitting Peak Later Than Usual

Flu Activity in New Jersey Hitting Peak Later Than Usual Winter is typically the time for flu, but flu activity in New Jersey is actually peaking later than it has in previous years and is expected to continue into April. In addition, although the state’s overall flu rate is considered to be moderate (last year it was rated as high), Bergen and Monmouth counties appear to be the state’s flu hot spots.

An article in NJ.com, “Flu cases spike dramatically in parts of N.J.” reports, “The vaccine being given this year is 59 percent effective against this season’s flu types, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced. ‘This means that getting a flu vaccine this season reduced the risk of having to go to the doctor because of flu by nearly 60 percent,’ said Joseph Bresee, chief of CDC’s Epidemiology and Prevention Branch.”

Flu Vaccinations Are Your Best Defense

Moderate to high numbers of influenza have been reported throughout New Jersey recently, your best defense is to get vaccinated. That’s right, it’s not too late to get your flu shot! Getting the flu vaccine reduces the risk of getting the flu by nearly 60 percent.

Influenza is caused by either virus A or virus B and there are different strains of the influenza circulating every year causing people to get sick and thankfully, federal health officials say this year’s version of the flu vaccine has been a good match for the strains showing up.

Who’s At Risk?

Most healthy people recover from flu within two weeks, but certain high-risk populations – pregnant women, children younger than 2, people over age 65, and people with certain chronic medical conditions – are more at risk of life-threatening complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Symptoms

Symptoms of the common cold and the flu can often be confused. Visit your closest eMedical Urgent Care walk in clinic near you if you or your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

• Fever
• Cough (without a cough, the illness is more likely a viral infection of another variety)
• Headache
• Malaise
• Muscle aches and severe tiredness
• Occasionally nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may be experienced

Prevention

Flu shots are your best protection against the flu epidemic. In addition to getting vaccinated, you can do more to fight the flu with a few healthy steps such as regular hand-washing, covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or elbow when you cough, disinfect surfaces regularly, limit alcohol and sugar, get enough sleep and fresh air and avoid close contact with others who are sick.

Flu Shots and Treatment at eMedical

For your flu shot or if you feel that you have symptoms of the flu, it’s important to see a doctor. Our convenient hours are designed to fit your schedule. Learn more about our services and how we can treat you by calling our location in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey (908) 464-6700, or Middletown, New Jersey (732) 957-0707.