How to Stay Healthy at Work
Sick days are no vacation. Because the 2009 H1N1 flu virus spreads from person to person, it is possible to catch the virus at work. However, there are measures you can take to protect yourself at the office. Additionally, if you think you might be sick, there are things you can do to prevent coworkers from getting sick, too.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your desk or with you at all times. After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose, wash your hands or rub sanitizer into them until they are dry. Clean your hands after using public transportation or conference room equipment.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.
- Keep your work surface clean. Use a household disinfectant to wipe down your desk, keyboard, mouse, telephone, and other objects you frequently touch. Follow the directions on the label.
- If possible, do not use coworkers’ offices, desks, or supplies. If you need to, however, wipe them down with a disinfectant first.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved several 2009 H1N1 vaccines, and they are currently offered in some states for certain people. Ask your doctor if the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine is available. If it is, your doctor can tell you if you should receive the vaccine.
- Keep tissues on your desk and cough or sneeze into a tissue.
- Stay at home if you feel sick with flulike symptoms, such as a fever or chills and a cough or sore throat. Other symptoms include runny nose, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, and vomiting. Contact your doctor to find out whether you should be tested or treated for the flu.
- Stay at home until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a temperature of 100 degrees or higher without the use of fever-reducing medicine. Some symptoms may remain.
- If you have a family member who has the flu but you feel well, it is safe to go to work. Monitor your health daily and stay home if you start to feel sick.