Don't Work Through It
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 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.
The flu usually comes on suddenly with these symptoms:
- Fever (but not everyone with the flu will have a fever)
- Runny nose and/or Stuffy nose
- Headache and Muscle Aches
- Sore Throat and Cough
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.
Most people who get the flu will recover in a few days and almost always within two weeks, but some people may develop complications like pneumonia, that can end up being life-threatening, which is why it is important to take the flu seriously and not continue to 'work through it'.
Most people with the flue do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
If you have the flu, stay home and recover. Do not go to work and risk infecting your co-workers.
If flu symptoms do not subside, seek medical attention if any of these symptoms occur: difficulty breathing, severe vomiting, confusion or chest pain.
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.
Weeklysafety.com provides hundreds of safety meeting topics and toolbox talks, including safety topics on Seasonal Flu and Preventing Seasonal Flu. Sign up today for a risk-free subscription and get access to Flu Prevention safety materials today.