Experts Predict an Extreme Flu Season: Encouraging Employees to Stay Healthy
While employees are still trying to navigate Covid-19, an old, but potentially severe, illness is circling back around.
Don't be fooled by the previous two years when cases if influenza were down. Medical experts across the country are warning that this flu season may be different and Americans must prepare for a rough few months.
While medical experts do not have a crystal ball that helps to predict how bad the flu season may get, there are some indications that this season could be more severe than those in the past. For instance, more kids are back at school, employees around the country are going back to work and more people are traveling now than in the past two years. In a chat with the New York Times, Dr. Lisa L. Maragakis said that it is usually typical for severe flu seasons to follow lighter ones. Since we have had two weak flu seasons, two years in a row, we could be in for a bad year if the flu starts spreading among Americans.
Despite a weak or severe flu season, it is still important to ensure that your employees are engaging in best practices to stay healthy during the winter months. Here's a few items that will help:
Continue with safety precautions used to keep safe from Covid-19. Wearing face coverings is a great way to protect yourself and others from getting the flu. Employees should also continue to stay at safe distance from others when possible and wash their hands often.
Get your flu shot. The flu vaccine is a great way to protect yourself and employees from the flu this season. The flu vaccine this year is able to protect from all four strains of the flu, as opposed to vaccines in past years that was only protective against three strains. This is important as experts believe we will probably see all four strains circulate this year. If you are able, hold a flu vaccine clinic for your employees so that getting their flu shot is simple and efficient.
Create a company culture where staying home when sick is the norm. If an employee is not feeling well, running fever or feeling overly fatigued, they are more likely to have an accident on the job that will injure them or someone else. It is important that is a worker is not feeling healthy, they feel comfortable calling out sick that day. This helps to ensure that the worker does not make mild symptoms severe and protects other workers from getting sick as well.
Now matter how you prepare for the flu season, you or someone around you may become sick. Be sure to know the symptoms and treat them adequately with help from the CDC.