Take Steps to Prevent the Flu
Each year, as many as 1 in 5 Americans are affected by the flu. Many cases result in a few days out of work, but a more serious case can put a person in the hospital. To help keep your people healthy, take steps to slow the spread of the flu.
Stay in Touch with Experts
Look for reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and information from your state and local health and emergency preparedness officials. The CDC issues weekly updates about the spread of the flu in the United States. Use the CDC's FluView report to learn about the current situation in your area. Your state and local health and emergency response units, including the American Red Cross, can also be excellent sources of information about the situation in your community.
Commonsense Precautions Help Prevention
A flu shot, when available, may be the best defense against the flu, especially for high-risk groups. Commonsense precautions also can help. To help keep your staff, volunteers, and congregation healthy, suggest that they follow these precautions:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you're sick, avoid contact with others whenever possible.
- Stay home when you are sick to help prevent others from catching your illness. If you develop a fever of 100° F or more, contact your doctor.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash. Health officials think influenza spreads mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing.
- Clean your hands often to help protect you and others against germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs from your hands often spread to your system when you do.
- Practice other good health habits. Get enough sleep, be physically active, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
Businesses and churches can be especially positive forces in preventing and responding to the flu. Just a basic understanding of how the flu spreads and a willingness to follow simple precautions like those above can help your people stay healthy this flu season.