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3 Tips to Stay as Protected as Possible this Flu Season

As the weather turns cooler, familiar viruses like influenza (aka the flu) begin to make their rounds. While there is no way to fully protect yourself from getting sick, there are several steps you can take to prevent the flu. If you’re looking for ways to protect yourself, your coworkers, and your patients this cold and flu season, consider these three tips to stay as protected as possible this flu season.

Get a Flu Vaccine

While the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, it can help protect you from the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that the flu vaccine prevents illness, on average, 40-60% of the time. 

While the flu vaccine might not fully prevent you from getting the flu every year, it can decrease the severity of your illness. A full-blown flu illness can be quite severe. So, if the flu vaccine helps shorten the duration and severity of illness, it can prevent you from needing to seek care at the hospital or miss an extended time from work.

Hand Hygiene

One of the ways germs spread is through touching dirty surfaces. The flu virus can survive up to 48 hours on certain surfaces. This means that you may not know someone coughed or sneezed on a surface and can pick up the flu by touching the surface where the germs landed.

Great ways to keep your hands clean are to clean your hands and high-touch surfaces. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers work well when you’re on the go, and handwashing is always a great option, too. 

Cleaning surfaces your hands touch frequently also helps stop the spread of germs. For example, most major shopping centers offer sanitizing wipes for shopping carts. Wiping down your steering wheel, door knobs, and other high-touch surfaces can help stop the spread of viruses like the flu and keep your hands free of disease-causing germs.

Cover Your Cough and Stay Home if Sick

It can be challenging to decide to stay home from work if you’re feeling sick or under the weather. However, if you and your coworkers stay home when ill, it can help protect everyone from getting the flu. 

If you have the flu and an accompanying fever and body aches, you’ll likely feel too sick to go out and about. However, some symptoms, like a cough, can linger for weeks at a time. To help prevent the spread of germs, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. 

Masks are widely available and a good option. If you can’t wear a mask or don’t have easy access to one, coughing or sneezing into a tissue can help reduce germs. Just make sure to clean your hands afterward.

Key Takeaways

Catching the flu can be miserable. Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent it and lessen the severity. Getting the flu shot, practicing hand hygiene, staying away from others when sick, and covering coughs and sneezes are all ways to help.

Cold and flu season is also a time when hospitals and healthcare organizations often need more staff to help care for all the patients with respiratory bugs like the flu. If you’d like to try a different work environment this cold and flu season or make extra money before the holidays, consider contract staffing.

Are you looking for a new healthcare position?

365 Healthcare Staffing Services has several open positions across the nation. Most are located in the Southeast or California. They have a team ready to answer any questions and help you find the right position. Check out their open positions today and fill a critical need as we head into cold and flu season!