Doctors say this year's flu season is the worst in nearly a decade. If you work in an office, therefore, it pays to protect yourself.
"This year's terrible flu season is far from over," says The Muse contributor Alyse Kalish. "No one likes being sick. Sure, you get to stay home for a few days, but the trade-off is feeling like death. Personally, I'd rather attend six meetings in a row than experience the worst of the flu (and I hate meetings)."
To find out how to stay healthy, Kalish sought tips from Dr. David Reitman, medical director at the American University Student Health Center.
First, Reitman says, you should get your flu shot. And no, he promises: It's not too late.
"People who are getting influenza have much milder cases if they have partial protection from the flu vaccine," Reitman explains. "Also, there are three other strains in this year's vaccine that can still make an appearance over the next three months. Even though it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to confer protection, it's not too late to get one!"
Next, stock up on hand sanitizer, soap, and Lysol.
"Alcohol hand sanitizers like Purell are actually excellent at killing influenza, although they're not as effective in killing norovirus (the stomach virus which is also going around right now). Hand washing before eating and after using the bathroom is again very important," continues Reitman, who says it's also important to keep your hands off of your face -- meaning you should avoid biting your nails or rubbing your eyes unless you've first sanitized your hands. "The flu is spread through respiratory particles but frequently these particles end up on surfaces. Once the flu viruses go from the hands to the mouth, nose, or eyes, you're infected."
And speaking of surfaces: Don't touch them if they belong to other people.
"Co-workers coughing up a lung next to you? … Avoid using other people's devices or sharing office supplies for the time being," Kalish concludes. "Yep, that means carrying around your own dry-erase markers. (Over the top? Sure. Safer? Definitely.)"
More Tips:https://www.themuse.com/advice/prevent-getting-sick-at-work-when-everyone-else-office-sick-fluQuestions, Comments, Suggestions?Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.