According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away… Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus to others.”
Employers can avoid an outbreak at their facility by taking the following actions:
- Require those who are sick to stay home.
Even when sick, it can be tough for some people to miss work. Avoid contact with those who are sick. If you are sick, stay home. It’s always best to rest and get better before returning to work so that you don’t spread illness to others.
- Consider offering inhouse flu vaccines.
Some employers may opt to offer flu shots at their facility. Whether free of charge or offered as a health benefit, the flu vaccine is key to protecting human health during flu season.
- Educate staff about handwashing.
Whether posters are placed in bathrooms, FAQs are emailed, or information is distributed in an employee newsletter, educating staff about handwashing can be effective in preventing the spread of germs. Make sure you are washing your hands frequently the right way, and encourage others to do the same.
- Clean, sanitize, and disinfect daily.
While regular cleaning should be routine, facilities may opt to have additional cleaning done during flu season to help prevent the spread of germs. It is especially important that doorknobs, light switches, shares spaces, kitchen areas and bathrooms are thoroughly cleaned.
Educate yourself about preventative measures and avoid an outbreak at your facility. Understand that the flu is highly contagious. Stay informed about what the local public health department recommends this flu season. Protect your facility, employees, and those using it!