During this magical time of year, we are constantly surrounded by signs of a common bond we, as interconnected human beings, all share. Heck, it’s in the air! Through the hustle and bustle of the holidays, all you need to do is stop and listen to the sounds of the season for a reminder:
“Cough. Sniffle. Sneeze.
Cough. Sniffle. Sneeze.
…and a Happy New Year…”
Merry Flu Season! That’s right, while we may not be able to agree on how to seasonally decorate our coffee cups, one thing truly unites mankind during the holidays: influenza. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we can spread the flu any number of ways – with a cough, a sneeze, even just talking – as tiny droplets of the flu virus are distributed from person to person.
Staying vigilant against the many strains of the influenza virus is hard enough, but between the stress of holiday planning and a busy work schedule, it can be downright overwhelming.
With that in mind, here are a few tips for fighting the flu season at work:
A flu shot is the best way to prepare for flu season well in advance. Just like saving buying presents until the very last minute, waiting until the flu hits to start prevention is a disaster waiting to happen.
Make an effort to wash your hands regularly. While there’s nothing quite as effective as a classic rinse with water and some soap, hand sanitizer can also be helpful in a pinch.
A sudden sneeze or cough can catch you off guard, but do your best to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Keeping a mini-box of tissues at your desk is always helpful (and you never know when you might save someone else’s nose in need!)
You – and any number of coworkers – touch a lot throughout the course of a workday; from phones, to computers to coffee mugs, nothing is safe from the flu virus! Take some time to clean and disinfiect your work space at the end of each day.
When in Doubt, Stay Home!
If you’re not quite sure if you’re healthy enough to go into the office, it’s probably best to take this time to rest. The CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after having a fever. No matter how impressed your boss and coworkers are that you’ve toughed it out to come in, that’ll all change the second they hear that familiar chorus coming from your cubicle:
“Cough. Sniffle. Sneeze.
Cough. Sniffle. Sneeze.”
You’ve got enough to worry about this holiday season; don’t let influenza sideline you this year! Use these small steps to keep your office healthy and happy this winter. Do you have any other suggestions for stopping the sick? Share them below!
For more information on influenza prevention, visit the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/