As much as it hurts, summer is coming to an end and the cold season will soon be upon us….
We’ve all heard of influenza (commonly referred to as the flu), that respiratory illness which can range from mild to severe, and at times can also become fatal. It is highly contagious and is caused and transmitted by the flu virus.
The flu virus is spread by small droplets from an infected person’s sneeze and or cough. Those droplets travel through the air and can infect others. The virus can also be left on a surface and transmitted when the next person touches that surface with their hands, followed by contacting their eyes, ears, or mouth.
The flu poses the greatest risk to those who suffer from diabetes, extreme obesity, heart disease, asthma, and other lung problems. The elderly, children, and pregnant women are also in the greatest risk category. Those who either fall in one of those categories, and those who do not, should consider getting the flu shot.
One of the most common misconceptions we all face is a lack of understanding as to whether we have the flu virus or if we’ve just caught a common cold. Both are respiratory illnesses, with the common cold being milder than the flu. Symptoms alone won’t enable you to 100% determine whether you have a the flu or a cold, and a doctor would need to run a series of tests to accurately determine which of the two you have.
When it comes to an office environment, office & facilities managers may not have the ability to fully prevent fly from entering the building, but proven & effective measures can be taken to limit the impact of flu spreading amongst you and your staff. It’s a matter of encouraging healthy behaviours amongst staff, visitors, customers and yourself.
A simple way to try to prevent the flu virus from entering a facility is to encourage everyone in the facility to get vaccinated against the flu. Those who receive the flu vaccines not only help protect themselves, but they help others. When one’s chances of acquiring the flu diminish, so to do the chances of that person spreading the flu to others.
If the flu virus has already entered the facility, the top personal prevention method is simple, but often goes ignored. Encourage frequent hand washing and sanitation with effective hand cleaners and sanitizers. Washing one’s hands is the easiest and most effective defense against contracting the flu.