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Safety Tips: Flu Prevention

Safety Tips: Flu Prevention

Did You Know? The flu virus can live on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours and soft surfaces for 15 minutes.  The flu is a common infectious disease caused by the influenza viruses.  The flu usually affects a person’s breathing system.

The Center for Disease Control estimates between 5-20% of the people in the United States get the flu each year, and more than 200,000 are hospitalized due to complications.

Most people recover from the flu in several days and usually less than two weeks.  However, the flu tends to be passed around in the workplace during the fall and winter months.  To help prevent getting the flu, think about getting a flu vaccination.

Flu Symptoms & Complications:
  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny or Stuffy nose
  • Muscle or Body Aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue or Tiredness
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea (more common in children)

How does the flu spread?

The flu spreads through wet drops produced when a person coughs, sneezes or talks.  A person can get the flu by breathing in these drops or by touching items services containing the virus and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.

A person can spread the flu starting one day before they feel sick.  Adults can continue to pass the flu virus to others for another 3-7 days, after symptoms start.  Children can pass the virus for longer than 7 days.  Symptoms can start 1-4 days after the virus enters the body.  Some people can be infected with the flu virus but show no symptoms.  During these times, those people can still spread the virus to others.

Safety Work Practices & Tips:
  • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
  • Don’t go to work when a fever or any other flu symptoms are present.
  • Practice good hygiene and wash your hands with soap and water frequently.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Use natural remedies like daily vitamins, vitamin C, and zinc to boost your immune system.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Wash your hands or utilize hand sanitizer before and after eating.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  Germs spread quickly this way.
  • Take available medication to help treat the flu and help manage the symptoms.

Sources of Tips and Information in this Post:

Flublok: Fun Facts

San Francisco Department of Public Health – Flu Facts Facts about Influenza for Adults

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: 2016-2017 Flu Season

Safety Toolbox Talks: Flu Prevention


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