Flu Prevention

Your illness prevention program should include precautions, including vaccination (please note that employees should always consult with their physician about issues such as allergies, as well as any other medical concerns, before getting vaccinated), and instruction in proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette, to reduce the risk of flu exposure and spread.


Workplace flu is highly contagious. Employees with flu can spread it to others who are up to about 6 feet away. Flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that an employee may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before the employee knows that he or she is sick, as well as while the employee is sick. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus to others.


Because workplace flu is highly contagious, consider having employees take everyday preventive actions that can help prevent the spread of flu. These include:

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