According to the CDC, so far this season influenza A (H3N2), has been the most common form of influenza. These viruses are often linked to more severe illness, especially among children and people age 65 and older. When H3 viruses are predominant, we tend to have a worse flu season with more hospitalizations and more deaths (CDC: January 2018).
While CDC surveillance systems show that nationally the flu season may be peaking now, we know from past experience that it will take many more weeks for flu activity to truly slow down.
With that being said, it is helpful to take aggressive preventative precautions to prevent influenza in any healthcare workplace.
Below are reminders of simple preventative measures that help to stop the spread of the flu:
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 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.
For additional information related to flu activity, below are links to the CDC’s weekly FluView map and the CDC’s 2017-2018 influenza webpage for your use and reference.