What Small Business Owners Can Do To Avoid the Flu This Season

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Creation of a Flu Vaccine

With the arrival of November, flu season is officially here, and there are a lot of people getting sick and missing work because of it. according to the CDC, every year the flu costs businesses $10.4 billion in medical treatments. That’s a whole lot of lost revenue. Luckily there are steps that small business owners can take in order to protect themselves and their employees against the sickness that are very effective.

The flu and the common cold are not the same thing. While they have similar symptoms, which include chills, coughing, aches, and a fever, the flu is the worse of the two maladies and those who are affected should stay home in order to avoid spreading the infection to others. If one of your employees reports having the flu, don’t make them come in to work, as the odds that they could pass the sickness on to the rest of the office are high. Flu.gov has resources for business owners or employees who get sick.

In order to prevent spreading the flu, small business owners should encourage their employees to get vaccinated. Getting a flu shot is relatively easy, and can even be done at some pharmacies, so it should be a step that your business encourages its employees to take in order to avoid a loss of productivity. Flu shots can prevent the most common strains of flu, but they may not be able to stop stains that are less prevalent or that have mutated from their original form. The flu is not bacterial, it is a virus, meaning it is not treatable by antibiotics and is highly contiguous.

Wash hands, cover your mouth when you cough, and stay warm. Getting cold actually lowers the body’s ability to resist getting sick, so as the temperature dips it makes the likelihood that you will get the flu go up. That makes staying warm a priority. If you need to keep the heat down, then make sure that you and your staff are adequately bundled up. Engaging in common sense practices for hygiene like washing hands and covering your mouth when you cough are also good ways to avoid the spread of a virus. Even if you’re not experiencing symptoms, it is possible that the flu virus is inside you building up strength. Make sure that all employees of your small business are aware of this, and treat their cleanliness seriously.

If you get the flu, there are some things you can do to treat it without medication. Gargling salt water can ease the pain of a sore throat. Drinking plenty of fluids will keep your body hydrated and better able to fight off infection. If you have chills, then keeping warm with blankets will help keep you comfortable.

Have a safe and healthy flu season small business owners, and ensure that your employees do too by following these guidelines.

Photo Credit to NIAID on Flickr

 

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