10 Tips for Cold & Flu Prevention

“Each year, between 5% and 20% of Americans get the flu and miss a staggering 70 million work days.  Indirect costs?  Between $3 billion and $12 billion a year. “ – WebMD

Here are 10 ways to prevent the flu or a cold from cutting into your work time:

1.  Get vaccinated.

Although not foolproof, the flu shot and nasal spray can prevent the flu and/or lessen severity.

2.  Don’t tough it out.

Stay home from work if you have a fever, extreme tiredness, cough, runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

3. See your doctor.

At the first signs of the flu, see your doctor about antiviral medication, which many lessen the length of your sickness.  Some colds can be reduced by taking zinc lozenges, available over the counter.

4.  Cover your cough (and sneeze)

Viruses spread primarily by touching something contaminated by mucus.  Cough or sneeze into your inner elbow, a place much less likely than your hands to touch surfaces.

5.  Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.

In case not everyone is as careful with their coughs.  If you pick up viruses on your hands, they will easily infect your eyes, nose and mouth if you touch them.

6.  Wash your hands.

Often.  See #’s 4 and 5.  The best way to rid your hands of viruses is to wash with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.  In a pinch, use alcohol based hand sanitizer.

7.  Wipe down surfaces.

Can’t be too careful, especially with those shopping cart handles!

8.  Eat healthy food and drink lots of water..

Eat your veggies, which are packed with immunity boosting nutrients.  Six to eight glasses of water a day will also help your body fight off germs.

9.  Get enough sleep.

Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night has been shown to keep your immune system healthy.

10.  Don’t slack off on exercise.

Regular workouts keep your body strong.