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Avoid Getting the Office Cold or Flu
Can you stay cold and flu free while working in an office? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Practicing healthy habits will help you stay healthy during flu season and all year.
On the subject of cold and flu prevention, remember what you were told when you were a child and don't forget to wash your hands. It is hard to keep dreaded colds at bay.
What Can You Do to Stay Cold and Flu Free in Your Office?
1. Wash your hands often. You may take care to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing but others may not. If you use someone else's telephone at your work place, wash your hands after doing so. The CDC advices "Wash your hands with soap and warm water, then rub your hands vigorously together and scrub all surfaces. Wash for 15 to 20 seconds. It is the soap combined with the scrubbing action that helps dislodge and remove germs."
2. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Better to use a sleeve, than a hand. Keep boxes of tissue throughout the house so you can quickly grab a tissue wherever you are. If you sneeze before you can grab a tissue, do not touch your nose or face, instead wash your hands immediately.
3. Do not keep used tissues on your desk. If you do not have a waste paper basket near you use a small plastic bag to dispose of used tissues.
4. Keep alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers at your desk. The gel is easy to use; rub it on your hands until your hands are dry. The alcohol in the hand wipes and the gel will help to kill the germs.
5. Use a paper towel to open the door of a public lavatory after you have washed your hands. Door handles are laden with germs. There is usually a trashcan somewhere in the hall - toss the paper towel there.
Finally, if you do find that you have caught a cold or the flu, take the CDC's practical advice. I paraphrase "Stay home and get plenty of rest.." Call and get advice from your doctor if you are not feeling better after a few days.
Some common flu symptoms are:
o Sore throat
o Runny or stuffy nose
o Muscle aches
o Fever (often fairly high)
o Extreme tiredness (some people call it 'bone tired')
o Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
No matter how careful you are, you may still catch a cold or get the flu. However, eating properly, getting your rest and plenty of sleep will help you stay on a good health course. So will drinking plenty of fluids and keeping your stress level down.
For more information see The CDC on Fluenza
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