As many of you know from the extensive media coverage recently, an influenza outbreak that originated and is largely a problem in Mexico is cause for serious concern but not panic. The strain of flu H1N1, also known as “swine flu”, has made some people sick and in a limited number of cases caused death. Public health officials have stressed that most current cases of influenza are not “swine flu”. Those same officials encourage everyone to be alert and utilize good health and sanitation practices.
As always, any specific questions or concerns about flu or other illnesses should be directed to a medical professional. We cannot give medical advice or provide medical services but we do encourage our clients, their employees and everyone else out there to follow the prevention tips from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website:
1. Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2. Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
3. Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
4. Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
6. Practice other good health habits.
Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
7. What to do if you have a sick worker.
Just to be prudent, if one of your workers gets sick it is a good idea to take them to the doctor immediately. You should provide an N-95 respiratory mask to the sick worker and whoever drives the worker to the doctor. To reiterate, just because someone is sick does not mean they have “swine flu”. However, it is best to let a medical professional examine the sick worker. At this time only the lab located at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia has the ability to determine if a sick person has “swine flu”. Your local doctor or health care provider can interface directly with the CDC.