Wellness Health Safety Alert- Flu prevention tips Flu season hitting record highs.

*** Wellness, Health and Safety Alert Bulletin ***

Flu Season is at a record high: Common Sense Flu Prevention and Awareness Tips

The national flu epidemic is getting worse by the day: Hospitals and Emergency rooms are being flooded by flu patients across the country. Some hospitals have put up tents outside hospitals to treat just flu patients. And the CDC says the percentage of people going to the hospital for treatment of flu symptoms has doubled in the past month.

Prevention and washing your hands are key critical components to increased cold and flu prevention. While stressing all prevention methods we cant forget about co-workers. One of the fastest ways to contaminate your co-workers is from your water cooler spigots. PLEASE, dont take your used water bottles or drinking containers and hold them up directly against the spout! The Dept. of Health has informed me that virus or bacteria can live on these for up to 2 hours. Prevention is one of our greatest defenses against any bacteria and virus but we must all contribute. We are part of our nations critical infrastructure that must stay healthy. Our customers telecommunications systems are essential.

So please take a moment to review the following common sense flu prevention tips:

· Wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly.

· Practice social distancing. Don’t move in toward someone who is coughing or sneezing; politely take a step back.

· Practice proper sneezing and coughing etiquette. Don’t cough or sneeze into your hand and then use your hand to use a pen at the bank or open a door or refrigerator. Sneeze and cough into your elbow.

· Use a hand sanitizer and sanitizer wipes on your phones, key boards and door handles and when soap and water is not available.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COLD & SEASONAL FLU SYMPTOMS
SYMPTOM COLD SEASONAL FLU
FEVER Fever is rare with a cold. Fever is common with the seasonal flu.
COUGHING A hacking, productive (mucus-producing) cough is often present with a cold. A dry and hacking cough is often present with the seasonal flu.
ACHES Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold. Moderate body aches are common with the seasonal flu.
STUFFY NOSE Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. A runny nose is commonly present with the seasonal flu.
CHILLS Chills are uncommon with a cold. Chills are mild to moderate with the seasonal flu.
TIREDNESS Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold. Tiredness is moderate and more likely referred to as a lack of energy with the seasonal flu.
SNEEZING Sneezing is commonly present with a cold Sneezing is common present with the seasonal flu.
SUDDEN SYMPTOMS Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days. Symptoms tend to develop over a few days and include flushed face, loss of appetite, dizziness and/or vomiting/nausea. Symptoms usually last 4-7 days, depending on the individual. Diarrhea is common.
HEADACHE A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold. A headache is fairly common with the seasonal flu.
SORE THROAT Sore throat is commonly present with a cold. Sore throat is commonly present with the seasonal flu.
CHEST DISCOMFORT Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold. Chest discomfort is moderate with the seasonal flu. If it turns severe seek medical attention immediately!
What should I do if I get sick?If you live in areas where swine influenza cases have been identified and become ill with influenza-like symptoms,including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact your healthcare provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether

influenza testing or treatment is needed.

If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from

spreading your illness to others.

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care. In children

emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

· Fast breathing or trouble breathing

· Bluish skin color

· Not drinking enough fluids

· Not waking up or not interacting

· Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held

· Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

· Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

· Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

· Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

· Sudden dizziness

· Confusion

· Severe or persistent vomiting

I

Some CDC Doctors recommend the following Flu and Cold wellness tips to help you recover:

For chest congestion:

Drink plenty of fluids (8 to 10 cups a day) such as water, sports drinks, herbal teas, fruit drinks, or Ginger ale. Fluids help break up congestion, prevent dehydration and keep your throat moist.

Inhaled steam can ease congestion too. Create steam with a humidifier, or steam up the bathroom by running a hot shower.

For nasal congestion:

Relieve clogged nasal and sinus passages caused by excessive mucus with either decongestant pills or with a nasal spray. These are best taken following a hot shower and lots of nose blowing to clear out the mucus as much as possible. Then use a hand sanitizer to kill germs on your hands.

For fever and pain, body aches and tiredness:

Rest get your full 8 hours of sleep at night if possible.

Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) can help decrease fever and ease sore throat pain and body aches.

For cough:

For a dry hacking cough, you may choose a medication that contains a cough suppressant Look for over-the-counter medications that contain dextromethorphan.

For a cough that produces excessive mucus, or phlegm, you may want to use an expectorant that loosens phlegm. Guaifenesin is the most common active ingredient.

For sore throat:

A warm salt-water gargle can relieve a scratchy throat.

Lozenges, mouthwashes, and sprays that contain a numbing ingredient can ease the pain.

Source: Con

While getting a flu vaccine each year is the best way to protect against flu, influenza antiviral drugs can fight
against influenza, offering a second line of defense against the flu.

Antiviral drugs are an important second line of defense in the prevention and treatment of flu.

· Antiviral drugs are important in the treatment and prevention influenza.

· Influenza antiviral drugs can be used to treat the flu or to prevent infection with flu viruses.

· Treatment with antivirals should begin within 48 hours of getting sick, and can reduce your symptoms and shorten the time you are sick.

· When used for prevention, antivirals are 70% to 90% effective in preventing infection with influenza viruses.

· Antiviral drugs are effective across all age and risk groups.

Two antiviral drugs (oseltamivir, brand name Tamiflu®, and zanamivir, brand name Relenza®) are approved for treatment
of the flu.

· Oseltamivir is approved to treat flu in people one year of age and older.

· Zanamivir is approved to treat flu in people 7 years and older.

· These are prescription medications, and a doctor should be consulted before the drugs are used.

· Antiviral treatment lasts for 5 days and should be started within 2 days of illness, so if you get flu-like symptoms, seek medical care early on.

PREVENTION TIPS:

ücough & sneeze into your elbow
üwash hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 15 -20 seconds. Sing your abc’s or happy birthday to you
üuse hand sanitizer when soap & water are not available
üavoid touching eyes, nose or mouth without washing or using hand sanitizer first
üstay home if you are sick to avoid contaminating your co-workers

Ken Oswald

keno@plateautel.com