Flu is passed from person to person via droplets form coughs or sneezes. The flu virus can also live for some time on environmental surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, light switches). A combination of personal precautions and workplace decontamination can help curtail the spread of the flu.
Practice social distancing
- Follow Universal Precautions when dealing with EMS runs
- Keep at least three feet distant from ill individuals if possible.
- Limit skin to skin contact such as hand shakes.
- Avoid large gathering if possible.
Keep well hydrated
Your body is more susceptible to the flu if you are dehydrated.
Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.
Clean your hands often
When available, wash your hands -- with soap and warm water -- then rub your hands vigorously together and scrub all surfaces. Wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs can live for a long time (some can live for 2 hours or more) on surfaces like doorknobs, desks, and tables.
Stay home when you are sick and check with a health care provider when needed
When you are sick or have flu symptoms, stay home, get plenty of rest, and check with a health care provider as needed. Your employer may need a doctor’s note for an excused absence. Remember: Keeping your distance from others may protect them from getting sick. Common symptoms of the flu include:
- fever (usually high)
- extreme tiredness
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- muscle aches, and nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, (much more common among children than adults).
Keep everyone’s personal items separate.
Everyone should avoid sharing pens, papers, clothes, towels, sheets, blankets, food or eating utensils unless cleaned between uses.
Disinfect the Work area.
- Use an antiviral cleanser such as Lysol.
- Disinfect doorknobs, switches, handles, computers, telephones, toys and other surfaces that are commonly touched around the workplace.
- Wash everyone’s dishes in the dishwasher or by hand using very hot water and soap.
- Wash everyone’s clothes in a standard washing machine as you normally would.
- Use detergent and very hot water and wash your hands after handling dirty laundry.
- Wear disposable gloves when in contact with or cleaning up body fluids.
- Promote good ventilation of the area.
Contact the Vanderburgh County Health Department at 435-5620 with any questions or concerns.