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Tips to Staying Healthy at Work during Flu Season

Posted Oct, 28, 2009

This flu season is different from previous years. In addition to seasonal flu, people are protecting themselves against the H1N1 flu. To help answer employees’ questions and alleviate concerns, members of the Kent State University Emergency Operation Center offer the following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tips to stay healthy in the workplace, particularly if a co-worker becomes ill and is presumed to have the H1N1 flu.

  • Monitor yourself for symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI). Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, flu symptoms may include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Influenza viruses spread mainly from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes. Germs spread this way.
  • Wash your hands frequently, either with soap and water or the alcohol-based hand sanitizers provided throughout the university. Influenza may spread via contaminated hands.
  • Clean surfaces and items that are more likely to have frequent hand contact. The H1N1 virus can live outside of the body for 4-5 hours. Use sanitizing wipes on shared equipment before you use them, such as computers, phones and desks. No additional disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended.
  • Get vaccinated against seasonal influenza. Once it becomes available, we also encourage you to receive the H1N1 flu vaccine.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle through rest, diet, exercise and relaxation.
  • Don’t spread the flu! If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home. CDC recommends that sick workers stay home if they are sick with flu-like illness until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.

For more information and updates concerning seasonal and H1N1 flu, visit www.kent.edu/flu.

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