The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. According to the CDC, most experts believe that the flu is spread when people who already have the virus cough, sneeze or talk near others. The flu can also sometimes be spread by touching a surface that has the flu virus on it, and then touching your face. Someone can be contagious 1 day before they develop flu symptoms and up to 5 days after becoming sick.
Flu season starts around October and lasts until May, but most flu activity occurs in the months of December, January and February every year.
According to the CDC, prevention is better than cure when it comes to any illness, including the flu. Every year, on average, 5% - 20% of the population gets the flu and this costs billions of dollars annually.
The flu can make anyone sick, even those people that usually seem strong and healthy. Employees should get their flu shot annually to help protect themselves against this illness and also to prevent unexpected lost time from work.
TIPS TO REMEMBER DURING THE FLU SEASON:
- Get the flu vaccine annually.
- The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older receive a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu.
- Encourage those around you to get the flu vaccine.
- Practice good health habits and wash your hands often.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid close contact with others that are sick.
Is Seasonal Flu a good subject for a safety meeting topic in the workplace? You bet! The more employees and managers are educated on the best ways to prevent the flu and stay healthy during the winter months, the more productive everyone will be on the job. This is a safety meeting topic that every company in every industry, and every organization should be discussing at least once year.