Know What to Do About the Flu
Influenza activity is rising in the U.S. at this time. Outpatient visits for influenza-like-illness are above the national baseline. Activity is expected to continue during the coming weeks.
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. It is not too late to get vaccinated. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses and prevent flu-related hospitalizations. More than 144 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine have been distributed at this time.
CDC also recommends prompt treatment with influenza antiviral drugs for people who are very sick with flu or people who are at high risk of flu illness who get flu.
8 Ways You Can Stay Healthy at Work
You can protect yourself and others by following these key action steps.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle through rest, diet, exercise, and relaxation.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available. Be sure to wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. Germs spread this way.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your elbow. Dispose of tissues in no-touch trash receptacles.
- Keep frequently touched common surfaces clean, such as telephones, computer keyboards, doorknobs, etc.
- Do not use other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment. If you need to use a co-worker’s phone, desk, or other equipment, clean it first.
- Don’t spread the flu! If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home. Symptoms of flu include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting. CDC recommends that sick workers stay home if they are sick with flu-like illness until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
- Get vaccinated against seasonal flu, when the vaccine is available in your area. If you are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 flu complications you should receive the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine when it becomes available. People at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 flu complications include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes). For more information about priority groups for vaccination, visit www.flu.gov.
Other Helpful Resources
Dallas County Health & Human Services Preparedness Guide
Worker Safety and Health Guidance for Pandemic
OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic http://www.osha.gov/Publications/influenza_pandemic.html