Flu (influenza) season is in full force. Influenza, a highly contagious respiratory illness, not to be confused with the stomach bug, can have some or all of these symptoms: fever or feeling feverish/chills; cough; sore throat; running/stuffy nose; muscle or body aches; headaches; fatigue; and vomiting/diarrhea (more common in children than adults).
Flu germs can easily be spread by touching a surface that has the flu virus on it or when an infected person coughs, sneezes and talks up to six feet away. The best way to prevent getting the flu is to get vaccinated –follow vaccine recommendations from your physician – along with avoiding the virus itself by following the precautions below.
Always wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds – especially when you first come home and before you eat. Try keeping the person who is infected with the virus in as few rooms as possible. Next, disinfect all surfaces with an antibacterial cleaner and sanitize toys with a bleach water solution (two teaspoons of bleach per one gallon of water). Avoid using the same hand towels as the sick person and handle the sick person’s clothing as little as possible to prevent spreading germs. Consider sanitizing your laundry with bleach, and wash your washing machine after washing the clothes, bedding and towels of the sick person.
If you are sick, stay home! It’s not worth going to the office with the flu and potentially infecting several of your colleagues, customers or clients. Individuals are contagious during the first three days of contracting the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend workers with suspected or confirmed flu who do not have a fever should stay home from work at least four to five days after the onset of symptoms. Employees with a fever should also not return to work until at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. To prevent contracting the virus, disinfect your workspace and always remember to wash your hands thoroughly.
“How Flu Spreads,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov, Aug. 27, 2018.
“How to avoid the flu: Disinfect your house to kill the flu virus,” Karen B. Gibbs, today.com, Jan. 22, 2018.