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How to Stay Healthy at Work

Sick days are no vacation. Because the flu virus spreads from person-to-person, it is possible to catch the virus at work. However, there are measures you can take to protect yourself at the office. Additionally, if you think you might be sick, there are things you can do to prevent coworkers from getting sick, too.

Protect yourself

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your desk or with you at all times. After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose, wash your hands or rub sanitizer into them until they are dry. Clean your hands after using public transportation or conference room equipment.

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.

  • Keep your work surface clean. Use a household disinfectant to wipe down your desk, keyboard, mouse, telephone, and other objects you frequently touch. Follow the directions on the label.

  • If possible, do not use coworkers’ offices, desks, or supplies. If you need to, however, wipe them down with a disinfectant first.

  • Get the flu vaccine as soon as it is available in your area.

Protect others

  • Keep tissues on your desk and cough or sneeze into a tissue.

  • Stay at home if you feel sick with flu-like symptoms, such as a fever or chills and a cough or sore throat. Other symptoms include runny nose, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, and vomiting. Contact your doctor to find out whether you should be tested or treated for the flu.

  • Stay at home until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a temperature of 100 degrees or higher without the use of fever-reducing medicine. Some symptoms may remain.

  • If you have a family member who has the flu but you feel well, it is safe to go to work. Monitor your health daily and stay home if you start to feel sick.


Online Resources

Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to the 2009-2010 Influenza Season, CDC  http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/business/guidance/
Planning for 2009 H1N1 Influenza: A Preparedness Guide for Small Business, CDC  http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/business/guidance/smallbiz.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/business/toolkit/waysyoucanstayhealthy.htm
CDC Recommendations for the Amount of Time Persons with Influenza-Like Illness Should be Away from Others, CDC  http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/exclusion.htm
2009 H1N1 Flu ("Swine Flu") and You, CDC  http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/qa.htm#antibacterial
CDC Novel H1N1 Vaccination Planning Q&A, CDC  http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/statelocal/qa.htm

© 2000-2011 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.