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Facts about the flu

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Body aches, runny nose, fever, headache and fatigue.

These are some of the symptoms of the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses – which often manifest suddenly. Although most people recover in a few days, the virus can be deadly for others. People at high risk of death from the flu include “people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease), pregnant women and young children,” according to CDC.

Prevention

OSHA recommends workers follow these tips to help protect against contracting the flu virus:

  • Get the flu vaccine. (Visit www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm for more detailed information on flu vaccines from CDC.)
  • Don’t go to work if you’re sick. If you have a fever and flu-like symptoms, stay home until your fever has been gone for at least a day.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Refrain from touching your face, particularly your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • Be mindful of others. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your upper sleeves, and then wash your hands.
  • Keep items you use regularly, such as your keyboard or telephone, clean. When possible, refrain from using a co-worker’s office equipment. If you must, consider disinfecting any items you use.
  • Keep your distance from people you suspect may be ill.
  • Do your best to maintain a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.
  • Check to see if your employer offers training on how to stay healthy at work.

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