January 27, 2015 Leave a comment
Have you used an office phone, had a face-to-face conversation or inhaled today? If so, you could be one of the estimated 62 million Americans who will catch the flu this year. Texas Mutual encourages you to protect yourself and your family from the potentially severe effects of the flu. We also remind employers that the flu can have a negative effect on business.
A recent survey by Walgreen’s indicates that during the 2012-13 flu season, the worst in more than a decade, adults missed 230 million work days because of the flu, with affected employees missing three days on average. Those missed work days translated to approximately $30.4 billion in lost productivity for employers.
- Get a flu shot. Experts agree that getting a flu shot is the most effective thing you can do to protect yourself from the flu. Everyone who is six months old or older should get vaccinated, especially those in a high-risk group. Many pharmacies, clinics and community centers offer free or low-cost flu shots.
- Learn how the flu spreads. Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. Flu viruses also may spread when people touch something with the flu virus on it, and then touch their mouth, eyes or nose.
- Remember, clean hands save lives. Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. That is how germs spread.
- Get some space. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy food.
- Keep coughs and sneezes to yourself. Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. If you use a tissue, immediately throw it in the trash.
- Learn the symptoms of the flu. Symptoms can include coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and chills. It is important to note, however, that not everyone who has the flu will experience fever.
- Know what to do if you get sick. If you suspect you have the flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, without the use of fever-reducing medications, except to seek medical care. It is important to see your doctor as soon as possible because the flu can exacerbate chronic medical conditions. It can also lead to other illnesses, such as bacterial pneumonia and ear infections.
- Get more information. Free resources for protecting yourself, your family and your co-workers are available from the American Red Cross, CDC, flu.gov and texasflu.org.