According to the CDC, 2017-2018 was a high severity flu season with record-breaking levels of influenza illness. Flu season peaks between December and February putting us smack in the middle of it, but don’t be fooled, it can last well into May. With the illness currently widespread in over half the United States, the flu is no doubt wreaking havoc in workplaces all over.
So, what can you do to help fight the flu in your workplace?
- Encourage workers to get a flu shot. The CDC has found that the flu vaccine can reduce the risk of getting the flu by as much as 40-60%.
- Stock up on hygiene products. Make sure to have plenty of tissues, soap, paper towels, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and disposable wipes on hand.
- Encourage clean workspaces. Routine cleaning of touched surfaces such as doorknobs, keyboards and phones will help eliminate germs.
- Instruct workers on protective behaviors such as proper handwashing; cough etiquette; and avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth.
- Prepare for absences. On average over 13% of people in the United States get the flu each year, so be prepared for increased absences and cross-train employees to cover essential functions
- Advise workers to stay home if they are sick! The flu virus is highly contagious, so avoiding contact with co-workers, family and friends as much as possible reduces the chance of the virus spreading.
Want more? The CDC has a whole website dedicated to flu prevention. Too much? Just Click Here to download a handy flyer from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases to post in your workplace.
And if all these precautions fail and you still get the flu… try whipping up a batch of flu-fighting soup. Because, of course, you’ll be setting a good example by staying home until you’re well.