According to the Washington Post, the current flu season is on track to be among the worst in 15 years, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting widespread instances of the flu in every U.S. state except Hawaii.
Here at Masiello Employment, we know you don’t want a sick day to keep you from your job or a job interview (or anything else in your life!), so we’ve put together this handy guide for navigating flu season.
HOW TO STAY FLU-FREE
Don’t Be So Touchy
You might not be able to avoid touching things at work, especially if you work with machinery, but you can help minimize the damage from any germ exposure by not touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Kill the Germs
Wash your hands often and with hot water and lots of soap, and make sure you scrub for at least 20 seconds to have the best chance of killing any flu germs on your hands.
Catch Some ZZZs
Adults should get between seven and nine hours of uninterrupted sleep every night to boost the body’s immune system.
Get the Flu Shot
It’s best to get vaccinated against the flu every fall, to build immunity before flu season begins, but you should get the flu shot today if you haven’t already; it takes up to 14 days after the vaccination for your immunity to grow so continue to be extra careful during the two weeks after getting the flu shot.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU CATCH THE FLU
See Your Doctor
If you believe you have the flu, get in touch with your health care provider immediately, especially if you or a family member could develop complications from the virus (high-risk groups include those under the age of 5 and over 65, pregnant women, and anyone with underlying health conditions like heart disease or asthma); some Doctors recommend taking an antiviral medication like Tamiflu within 48 hours of getting sick, so try to see your Doctor sooner rather than later.
Drink lots of water, juice, and warm broth during the day and avoid caffeinated beverages (like coffee, sodas, and energy drinks) and anything with alcohol, which can be dehydrating.
Be Extra Careful
Don’t drive or operate work machinery if you’ve taken medication that might cause drowsiness—make sure to read all details on your medication’s packaging and plan accordingly, like taking DayQuil in the morning and saving the NyQuil for bedtime.
Mind Your Germs
Don’t cough into your hands; instead, cough or sneeze into your elbow (when you use your hands, you easily spread germs on everything, and everyone, you touch).
Move as Much as You Can
If you’re feeling sick but you don’t have a fever, taking a walk in the woods or doing an easy circuit at the gym can help you feel better and speed healing (just be sure to listen to your body and slow down/stop when necessary; also, at the gym, wipe down every machine you touch).
Find the Humor
Being sick is no fun, but having fun while sick—like watching cat videos or your favorite comedy—can make you feel better (research suggests laughter boosts immunity).
WHEN TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL WITH THE FLU
Know the Danger Signs
You should seek immediate medical attention if you have the flu and find yourself suffering from severe vomiting (especially the inability to keep down liquids), dizziness, and/or difficulty breathing.
In this extra-bad flu season, we at Masiello Employment encourage you to share our flu-fighting advice with friends, family members, and co-workers so we can all stay healthy together.