Tips For Preventing Cold And Flu

Did you know nearly 111 million workdays are lost each year due to the flu? Add to that, employee sick days and lost productivity due to illness cost employers about $7 billion annually. These two stats are reason enough for companies to do whatever they can to combat the spread of infections.

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses, and according to reports from NASSCO Inc., a simple cough or sneeze can cause the viruses to spread.

Viruses can survive on surfaces for up to 8 hours and can be transferred from person to person. To keep this from happening, NASSCO offers the following tips to improving health in schools and offices:
• Create a strong handwashing program This should include ample soap and drying options in all restrooms, as well as sanitizers and disinfecting wipes in the necessary areas.
• Target germ hot spots with appropriate cleaning. Studies have shown that influenza viruses can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours. Make sure cleaning and disinfecting processes are in place for these surfaces.
• Encourage vaccinations for building occupants.
• Teach proper sneeze/cough etiquette. Prevent contamination by avoiding coughing or sneezing into bare hands. Teach employees and students to cover their mouth with a tissue or sleeve to keep germs from becoming airborne.
• Encourage sick staff/students to stay home.

For additional suggestions on reducing the spread of infection, read this full report here.