Influenza Cause and Effects
Influenza, also known as the flu, is a highly contagious respiratory illness that is caused by the influenza viruses. Millions of people are affected annually by the flu and infection can be mild to severe.
People with certain illnesses, as well as children and the elderly, are more vulnerable to the flu, and serious infection can lead to hospitalisation or death.
The flu is highly contagious and can be spread to others within a distance of six feet. A person with the flu can transfer the virus via droplets by simply talking, coughing or sneezing. People in close proximity can inhale these droplets through the nose into the lungs.
Health practitioners recommend that everyone gets the flu vaccine each year. However, not everyone is willing to get vaccinated, thus other prevention measures will have to be taken to maintain a healthy and productive workforce.
Sick employees can result in other workers getting infected, prolonged absenteeism, and reduced productivity. Some people are asymptomatic, which means they can be infected without symptoms. This can be problematic since they still stand a high chance of spreading the virus to others.
Below are three tips that can be used to prevent the spread of the flu viruses:
Professionally Clean Carpets, Mats and Drapery
A clean environment is one that reduces the growth and transfer of allergens and people with asthma are at a greater risk of contracting the flu. Cleanliness also eliminates germs and harmful bacteria, plus minimises the risks of contracting and spreading infections.
A dirty office is a breeding ground for viruses to thrive in. Carpets, rugs and window curtains/drapery can trap dust, dirt and viruses that can make staff more susceptible to the flu. An office that is routinely sanitised stands a greater chance of being virus-free.
Disinfect Common surfaces
Flu viruses are very resilient and can live on surfaces for as much as 72 hours.
Employees can be exposed to the flu by handling objects or surfaces that were touched by someone who has the virus. They then contract the virus when they touch their own noses, or mouths. Disinfect common surface areas such as telephones, coffee pots, copiers, fax machines and door handles daily.
Encourage Employees to Practice Good Hygiene
Most germs are transferred by hand. It may take up to 48 hours for symptoms to show so it is possible for employees to infect others without knowing it. It is therefore a great idea to encourage staff to wash hands several times a day.
Provide soaps and sanitisers in restrooms and other common areas such as cafeteria. Another way to minimise the spread of viruses is to cough or sneeze in hand towels that are promptly disposed of. Hand towels should be provided in common areas as well.
If employees are sick, encourage them to stay home and recover. It is pointless for them to come to work and infect the entire office. Employees are happier and more productive in environments that are clean and sanitary.