Post-Flu Back to Work Tips: Wash, Vaccinate, Hydrate

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For those unfortunate enough to have contracted the flu, but fortunate enough to be feeling better, here are some tips to follow before making your way back to work:

1. Be sure you are getting better. The HHS/CDC recommends that workers who have a fever and respiratory symptoms remain at home until 24 hours after their fever ends (100 degrees Fahrenheit/37.8 degrees Celsius or lower without the use of medication). Remember, not everyone who has the flu will have a fever. Other symptoms could include a runny nose, headache, body aches, tiredness, vomiting, or diarrhea.

2. Emphasize hand hygiene in the workplace. You should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds regularly. After using the restroom, before eating, or after coming into contact with potentially contaminated objects are all great times to take a moment, wash your hands, and reduce the risk of spreading the flu virus. Also, dry your hands completely because wet hands can often spread germs and bacteria more easily. Sometimes, people just need a reminder, and posted signs that display proper hand washing can be very effective.

3. Practice cough etiquette. Many people cough into their hands, which is wrong and can spread the flu virus. Instead of your hands, cough into a tissue you can throw away or into your upper sleeve, both reduce the spread of the flu virus.

4. Stay hydrated. When recovering from the flu, staying hydrated is an important step and can help strengthen your immune system. While sick with or recovering from the flu, it is recommended that you increase your fluids intake.

5. Get Vaccinated. There are several strains of flu spreading this season. Even though you have had one strain of flu does not mean you can't get another one.