Flu season has arrived.
An estimated 12,200 Canadians find yourself hospitalized due to the flu every year, Health Canada reports, and the virus additionally causes round 3,500 deaths yearly.
As a result of the flu virus, or influenza, is primarily unfold via droplets made when coughing or sneezing, workplaces might be hotbeds for transmission.
So how are you able to stop your self from catching the flu at work? Right here, docs share their recommendation.
Get the flu shot
Dr. Kamran Khan, an infectious illness doctor and scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital and a professor of drugs at the College of Toronto, stresses the significance of the flu shot.
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Khan, who can be the CEO of BlueDot, an infectious illness prevention device, says Canadians ought to get their flu vaccine yearly.
“It’s not 100 per cent perfect in preventing influenza, but it’s roughly going to cut your odds of getting a flu in half,” Khan stated.
“It is important for people to be aware that it is their best chance at reducing their risk of getting the flu.”
Khan factors out that the flu shot not solely protects you, it additionally helps stop spreading the virus to those that are at excessive danger of catching the flu.
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This contains seniors, these with compromised immune techniques, younger kids and pregnant ladies. For at-risk populations, the flu can lead to critical issues and even dying.
“Even if employees are young, healthy anddon’t have risk factors for severe consequences from influenza, simply getting the vaccine means they’re less likely to become sick and pass the virus on to someone else in their work environment,” Khan stated.
Dr. Ian Gemmill, a Kingston, Ont.-based public well being guide and former chair of Immunize Canada, says that as a result of influenza is unfold from individual to individual, it’s necessary for folks to often wash their fingers.
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Well being Canada factors out the incubation interval of the flu can vary from one to 4 days, that means folks can unfold the virus earlier than they even notice they’re sick.
The government agency adds that folks can cross on influenza up to 5 days after they first expertise signs.
Gemmill provides that on prime of direct contact, the flu virus can survive on surfaces for roughly a day. Which means frequent objects, like toilet door handles or telephones, can transmit the influenza virus to your fingers.
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When you contact a contaminated floor then contact your face, for instance, you may contract the flu.
“I cannot emphasize handwashing enough,” Gemmill stated.
Encourage employers to be a part of flu prevention
A method Gemmill says workplaces can promote flu prevention is by providing staff free on-site flu pictures. In sure workplaces, having the virus go round can lead to extreme penalties.
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“You don’t want to have a fire department or a police department basically wiped out for a week or two,” he stated.
Gemmill factors out that not all workplaces have paid sick days, that means sure staff could also be inclined to come into work even when they’re sick.
To fight this, Gemmill says workplaces ought to work in direction of having insurance policies that shield wage loss within the case of sickness.
“To have some of those policies in place to allow people to stay at home, get better and not infect other people, it will really help employers keep a healthy workplace,” he stated.
Keep dwelling whenever you’re sick
One of many challenges in North American workplaces is the concept that staff all the time want come into work, Khan stated.
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However in the event you suspect you might have the flu, it’s higher in your well being and productiveness to keep out of the workplace.
“If you are sick, you should simply be staying at home and resting so that you can actually recover as quickly as possible and not expose other people in the workplace,” Khan stated.
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