21Sep 2017

Protecting Your Workplace From the Flu Virus

We all know that getting a flu shot can help reduce the risk of getting the flu, but did you know it also can prevent the spread of the virus? And that can make a big difference in your workplace.

Because, from the time the flu virus enters your body, it takes one-to-four days before any symptoms appear.  You or your employees can unknowingly spread the virus before you ever feel sick.

The flu and your workplace

By the time an employee calls in sick, they have already potentially exposed anyone they came in contact with at work. Those coworkers could then pass the virus onto other colleagues, creating a possible chain reaction of people getting sick and missing work.

With an average illness duration of three-to-five days; that missed work also means productivity and your bottom line could suffer. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) nearly 111 million workdays are lost nationwide due to the flu. This costs employers a collective $7 billion in sick days and lost productivity.

The CDC says the best defense is immunization, ideally before the end of October. A simple shot in the arm can help you keep the flu out of your workplace, and keep your employees on the job.

Pharmacies and healthcare providers are already offering this year’s vaccine. Encourage all your employees to get immunized. If possible, consider sponsoring a vaccination clinic at your workplace.

Other prevention steps include:

  • To the extent possible, encourage employees to stay home when they are sick.
  • Remind employees to cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
  • Encourage frequent, thorough handwashing.

While all of us have the capability to pass the flu onto someone else, this is one gift not worth giving. One flu shot each year goes a long way in helping minimize the illness and absentee rate of your workforce.

For more information, please visit the CDC’s About Flu page.


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