Flu season has officially arrived, and there are a number of signs that this year could be miserable — even deadly. The Southern Hemisphere — primarily Australia — has been hit hard by flu in recent months, resulting in a high number of hospitalizations and fatalities. Why is that important? Australia’s flu season often gives us a pretty good idea of what ours will look like. Another troubling sign: People of all ages are already showing up in emergency rooms throughout the United States with flu symptoms, some severe. Are you and your office ready?
Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the flu. You can’t get the flu from a flu shot and you do need one each year. (Have some skeptical employees or co-workers? Have them read this.) Keeping the office and work spaces clean also is especially important this time of the year. Research suggests that many computer keyboards and desks have more germs than toilet seats. That’s why it’s important to keep your keyboard, phone, work space and office clean and sanitized.
It’s also important that employers make sure employees know it’s OK to stay at home when they’re sick. Sure, a lot of people go to work with the sniffles. But the flu can spread rapidly in offices, where people share break rooms, bathrooms, door knobs and coffee pot handles.
If you have any questions about the flu vaccine or the 2017-18 flu season, contact your local health department or physician’s office. Even if your doctor’s office doesn’t provide flu shots, most major pharmacy chains, grocery stores and community organizations offer flu shots and flu clinics from now through the holidays.