It is the height of the flu season, and you will be surrounded by sniffling, sneezing, and coughing co-workers. In close working quarters such as bathrooms, kitchens, and conference rooms so those flu and other nasty germs will be contained for hours at a time for you to be around and breath into your respiratory system.
There are steps you can take to try and protect yourself whether you are in or out of the office that doesn’t have to be a complicated mess.
The most important thing you should do first is to get your annual flu shot. It goes a long way in helping to make sure you will not get the flu and will help prevent you from giving the flu to someone else even if you never come down with the illness yourself.
It is best to get vaccinated by the last of October before the flu visits your community. The flu shot will only be effective for one flu season, and it usually runs from October to May.
You can be immunized at a local clinic, health department, your doctor’s office, or a nearby pharmacy.
The droplets that contain the flu virus can easily spread through the air up to six feet. Honestly, you need to stay further away than that.
It can easily be seen in the sunlight that our coughs and sneezes can shoot out as much as nine to ten feet, so think about that when keeping a distance from infected co-workers.
If there are several of your co-workers that are sick, suggest holding the conferences by phone or teleconferencing instead of everyone gathering into a boardroom that the air exchange is non-existence.
Keep washing your hands by using soap and water, disinfecting with a sanitizer that is alcohol-based that will help keep you free from the flu. A quick rinse under some warm water will not clean the flu bug from your hands. You need to scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Scrub the back of your hands, fingers, under your nails, and the palms.
If you do not have water and soap available, then use 60% alcohol for your hand disinfectant until you can get to some soap and water for a real wash. To sanitize your hands thoroughly, rub that product on every part of your hands until it is dry; do not wipe any of the solutions off.
If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand disinfectant with at least 60 percent alcohol until you can find an opportunity to give your hands a proper wash. To properly sanitize your hands, rub the product on all parts of your hands until dry; do not wipe the solution off.
The flu virus can live on surfaces for 48 hours, so it is wise to disinfect the heavily traveled areas to prevent the spread of infection.
It is so easy to forget to disinfect some of the most common areas like the coffee area, kitchenette, areas where people are likely to congregate, bathrooms, shared phones, and doorknobs. Be sure to wipe down your keyboards, computer chair arms even if they appear clean, and wipe down your desk. Before you clean your electronics be sure, they can stand moisture before doing so.
Being physically active, getting adequate sleep, managing stress, eating a nutritious diet can all help in maintaining your overall health and could boost your immunity.
No matter what you do, you can still catch the flu.
If you happen to come down with the flu, do what you can to avoid being around others, stay home another 24 hours after you no longer have a fever without taking fever reducers. If you are one that is high risk for complications such as having asthma, heart disease, pregnant women, young children, and diabetes then contact your physician as soon as possible.