Best Advice for Workers Suffering from the Flu

In 2009 the world saw one of the worst flu epidemics and the United States was one of the hardest hit nations. Out of the 26 million adults in the USA who contracted the flu in 2009, only 8 million took time off work to recover. A study has found that those remaining people who never stayed at home during their sickness, passed the flu on to 7 million of their co-workers as well as countless friends, family and even strangers.

The current flu season in that country has seen similar results and with the flu season approaching us here in Oz, there will probably be those workers who believe their commitment to the job is more important than their health and the health of their co-workers. There are also those workers who believe that they will somehow be looked down upon by their employers if they stay at home sick but research by an American university has found a number of reasons why going to work with the flu is dangerous as well as selfish.

The post below was taken from www.usatoday.com and highlights the danger that contagious illnesses such as the flu pose to the entire workforce:

ap-michigan-flu-3_4_r536_c534“We know that many people are under pressure to go to work,” says Andrew Pavia, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Utah and an influenza adviser for the Infectious Disease Society of America.

Yet Pavia and other experts say there are many good reasons to resist that pressure during this winter’s widespread flu epidemic . Here are a few:

• You feel awful. The flu is not a cold. “The typical case of the flu starts suddenly, and you feel like you were hit by a truck,” Pavia says. For adults, he says, the flu often feels “like the worst viral illness you’ve had in 10 years.”

The flu comes with fever, aches, cough, tiredness and sudden onset — which you can abbreviate and remember as FACTS, says Susan Rehm, an infectious disease specialist at Cleveland Clinic and medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

Most people with the flu are just too sick to work effectively, Pavia adds. “Many people will find they get more work done by going home and recovering than by going in and walking around like a zombie.”

• You may get better sooner. “For most infectious diseases, rest seems to speed recovery,” Pavia says. “Sometimes your mother was right.”

Rehm agrees: “It takes a lot of energy to fight an infection, and resting is one of the ways you can conserve that energy.”

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/25/flu-sick-leave-contagious/1853629/

Another reason to stay at home is to protect others not just co-workers but clients, people you meet on train etc. Although it is true according to the study that construction workers are less prone to spreading the flu to their co-workers because they work outdoors, they too should take time to rest in order to recover faster. Remember coughing and sneezing can spread the virus to people 6 feet away from you, so even on a construction site, there is still the possibility that one person could infect the entire workforce.

Because the flu comes around each year and infects thousands people underestimate its ability to kill. Although for most of us it passes and we recover fully, there are people who may die from the flu. Children, the elderly, people with heart or lung problems and people with cancer are particularly vulnerable to diseases and a bout of the flu could be fatal to them.

The post goes on to give advice to people in authority and bosses who don’t want the flu infecting their entire workforce and encourages them to be the first to go home or see a doctor when they come down with flu symptoms. The business will benefit because you won’t infect other workers (and force them to take time off worker) and workers who are at work will be performing at their best not forcing themselves to show up and be useless because they are paralysed with flu.

 

Posted by Construction Safety News Admin
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