Prevention is better than cure when it comes to any illness, and influenza is no exception. Each year, on average, 5-20% of the U.S. population gets the flu, tens of thousands are hospitalized and thousands die from flu-related illness. The physical consequences can be as dire as it gets, but the monetary ramifications suffer from intense infection as well. The flu costs businesses an estimated $10.4 billion a year in direct medical expenses and an additional $16.3 billion in lost earnings annually. National IPA and our robust portfolio of world-class suppliers can help companies protect employees’ health and reduce losses in productivity and revenue.
Top 10 Tips for Preventing the Flu
- Take the time to get a flu vaccine. The single best way to protect against seasonal influenza and its potential severe complications is to get vaccinated each year.
- Make sure your workplace has an adequate supply of tissues, soap, paper towels, disposable latex gloves, alcohol-based hand rubs and disposable wipes. A shortage of the right supplies can quickly lead to an illness being spread. See our Jan-San solutions here.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and items that are more likely to have frequent hand contact such as desks, door knobs, keyboards and pens.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are usually spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are ill, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick as well. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are under the weather. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
- Innovative cleaning tools can provide an extra level of protection so look into investing in advanced cleaning technologies. For example, an electrostatic sprayer is a device that completely wraps the solution around a surface and sanitizes it in a matter of minutes.
- Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Research shows that these viruses can be transmitted by breathing them in so pay special attention to your air quality. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or air purifiers are effective tools for removing viruses from the air. Ultraviolet light-based technologies can also do the trick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person has contact with something that is contaminated and then touches one of these areas.
- Procure equipment designed to reduce the amount of chemicals being used. This will help prevent injuries, control cross-contamination, and effectively capture dirt, dust and microbes. Examples include: walk-off mats, high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) vacuum cleaners, microfiber cloths, mops, and time-and-energy-saving floor care machines.