Each year, between 5% and 20% of Americans get the flu and miss a staggering 70 million work days as a result. The costs? Roughly $10.4 billion in direct costs for hospitalizations and outpatient visits for adults.
Both the flu shot and the nasal flu vaccine work really well to keep you from getting ill. But they aren’t 100% effective. You can still get sick even if you get vaccinated, although it's usually less severe and goes away more quickly.
Try these five tips to lower your risk of sharing cold and flu viruses at work.
1. Call in sick when you need to. Viruses are easy to spread in close quarters like offices. Stay home if you have any of these symptoms:
- Extreme tiredness
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle aches
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
3. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Rub them together for 15 to 20 seconds. If you can’t get to soap and water, use alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gels.
5. Wipe down your desk and other common areas. Telephones, desks, water fountain handles, microwave door handles, and computer keyboards in offices contain large amounts of germs.