Each year, anywhere from 9.2 million to 35.6 million Americans come down with the flu. The flu is a highly contagious respiratory virus that begins to show itself in October and sometimes lasts until as late as May. Anyone who has ever had the flu knows just how miserable it can be. It’s like a cold on steroids – and if you have a weakened immune system, it can cause severe complications.
While you cannot completely avoid exposure to viruses and germs, here are five best practices for avoiding the flu at work.
Get Your Flu Shot
According to nearly every doctor and medical experts in the business, getting the flu shot is the most important thing you can do to prevent getting the flu. If you are insured, the flu shot will typically cost you nothing out of pocket, and you can receive the vaccine on a walk-in basis at most major pharmacies.
However, because the vaccine is developed well before flu season, it won’t necessarily protect you 100 percent of the time. That means that whether you are vaccinated or not, you should take additional measures to protect yourself.
Wash Your Hands
Hand-washing is the next best defense you have. Wash your hands after coming in contact with other people and touching communal property in the office. Be aware, however, that most people don’t wash their hands long enough. If you think you’ve scrubbed them well, keep going. Also, keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer at your desk and use it if someone comes into your area.
Keep Your Desk Sanitized
Keep a bottle of Lysol and/or disinfecting wipes at your desk and use them regularly during flu season. Wipe or spray down your area first thing in the morning and at the end of the day. If you feel particularly paranoid, a quick wipe at lunch can help reduce germs on your desk, phone, chair, etc. even more.
Avoid Contact With Someone Who Is Coughing Or Sneezing
People tend to come to work when they are sick, even if they have sick days to use. If someone comes to work and is coughing or sneezing, try to avoid them as much as possible and definitely do not shake hands with them.
Try Not To Touch Your Face
Even if you practice good hand-washing hygiene and keep your desk sanitized, you could still come in contact with germs. Touching your mouth and eyes gives those germs a fast pass into your system. Flu viruses can survive on surfaces for up to eight hours. If you touch something that’s contaminated and then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose, you can get sick.
Are You Looking For New Job Opportunities?
Sometimes it’s not the flu you have to worry about – it’s the stress of where you work that can be making you sick. If you are an engineer seeking new job opportunities and you want to put an expert in your corner, contact the Atlanta engineering recruiters at Selectek today.