Preventing Flu in the Workplace

In order to prevent the spread of seasonal flu, the CDC has issued the following list of basic precautions. Since the state of Georgia has been particularly hard hit with flu, the university advises everyone to follow these CDC recommendations in order to curtail the spread of the disease in the workplace.

  • If you have not already done so, get vaccinated. The Center for Health & Well-Being still has the vaccine and will accept appointments to administer the vaccination to employees. The cost is $15. You can reach them at 770-534-6135. The Center’s supply of flu tests has been severely depleted in serving the student population, however several local pharmacies are still able to offer flu tests and can prescribe medication via their on-site clinics.
  • Sick workers are asked to stay home. The CDC recommends that workers who have a fever and respiratory symptoms stay at home until 24 hours after their fever ends (100 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37.8 degrees Celsius, or lower) without the use of medication. Not everyone who has the flu will have a fever.  Other symptoms could include a runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting. The flu can remain contagious for 10-14 days after symptoms subside; CDC advises wearing a surgical mask if you are returning to work within this time frame.
  • If you become ill while at work, seek assistance from the Center for Health & Well-being. Supervisors should consider how to separate ill workers from others, or give them a surgical mask to wear, if possible and if they can tolerate it, until they can go home.
  • Promote hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
    • Hand Hygiene: Wash hands after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or coming into contact with mucus or contaminated objects and surfaces. Apply soap and water: rub soapy hands together for at least 20 seconds, rinse and dry completely. Or, use alcohol-based hand rubs; apply liquid to palm of hand, cover all surfaces of the hands, and rub hands together until dry.
    • Cough Etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your upper sleeves(s). Dispose of used tissues in “no touch” wastebaskets.
  • Keep the workplace clean. Aramark Housekeeping is assisting in this effort by taking additional steps to assure the workplace is clean.  However, each employee can help by frequently cleaning all commonly touched work surfaces, work areas, and equipment (e.g., telephones, doorknobs, lunch areas, countertops, copiers, etc.).
  • Address travel concerns. Reconsider business travel to areas with high illness rates. If employees become ill while traveling, notify your supervisor and seek medical attention. Employees are urged to check themselves for fever and any other signs of flu before starting travel and to notify their supervisors and stay home if they feel ill.