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Reduce Your Risk of Getting Sick

reduce your risk of getting sickFlu season is ramping up across the United States and it’s proving to be a busy one. About a quarter of the US population is affected by the flu each year. That not only impacts health, it impacts work, productivity and learning. However, there are steps you can take both at work and at home to reduce your risk of getting sick.

  1. Practice proper hand hygiene. Touching items, shaking hands and then touching your nose/mouth area are among the top ways of spreading the flu. Taking extra precautions to keep your hands clean will make a big difference. Wash hands with soap under running water for 20 seconds to kill any germs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionor CDC, you should follow these five steps:
    1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
    2. Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
    3. Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
    4. Rinse your hands well under running water.
    5. Dry your hands using a clean paper towel
  1. Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces. That includes door knobs, light switches, shared phones and buttons on things like elevators, vending reduce your risk of getting sickmachines and microwaves. Use a quality disinfectant and follow instructions for dwell time. You might want to consider cleaning these areas more frequently during cold and flu season.
  2. Keep your desk clean and clutter-free. Germs can live in the dust and clutter. Clear it off and sanitize it to prevent spreading germs. Clean and sanitize your desk phone, keyboard, mouse and other items you touch frequently.
  3. Limit contact with others. If you’re sick, don’t shake your coworkers’ hands. Tell them you’re not feeling well so you don’t want to make them sick as well. They’ll appreciate the honesty and you’re efforts to help them stay healthy.
  4. If you’re sick, stay home. Employers need to encourage employees to stay home if they are sick. Employees need to heed that advice. It doesn’t do anyone any good if a worker comes in sick and gets everyone else in the office sick as well.
  5. Keep cleaning supplies accessible. Offices should make sure tissues, soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray are fully stocked in order to kill germs and reduce their spread.



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