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UCOP Prepares for flu

As if the seasonal flu isn’t enough to worry about, this year we have H1N1 to think about, too. We spent some time with UCOP’s Risk Services team to find out anything and everything we could to help you prepare.

“We started getting ready for the flu season at UCOP months ago and will continue to provide information and resources to fight the flu,” said Ed Baylosis, Director of EH&S. “Of course the best way for our employees to stay well is to practice good hygiene, pay attention to their own health, and most importantly stay home if you’re sick. We don’t want anyone turning their office  into a recovery room and spreading the virus among co-workers.”

WHAT UCOP HAS DONE TO PREPARE

  • Seasonal Flu Shot Clinic. Stop by UCOP’s Franklin Building, room 10325 on Wednesday, September 30, from 11:30-1:30 to get a seasonal flu shot from UC Berkeley’s Health Center. The cost is $25.
  • Increased Cleaning. Custodial units have been hard at work expanding their cleaning detail to include frequently touched items in common areas such as door handles, handrails, and elevator buttons.
  • Hand Sanitizers. Dispensers have been installed throughout UCOP facilities.
  • Flu Kits. Each UCOP department will receive a “flu kit” within the next few weeks. It will contain items such as tissues for each employee and sanitizing wipes for work areas.

DON’T SPREAD THE BUG

Follow these tips to prevent the spread of seasonal flu and H1N1:

  • If you have a fever and other flu-like symptoms stay home! Don’t return to work until your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours.
  • Practice good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds throughout the day.
  • Practice proper respiratory etiquette by covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing/sneezing, or cough/sneeze into your elbow. (And please throw the tissue away immediately after you use it.)
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth. This is how the germs spread.
  • Talk to your health care provider about whether you should be vaccinated.
  • Clean your work area with disinfectant wipes.

FLU SYMPTOMS

Common symptoms of the seasonal flu and H1N1 are a fever or chills AND a cough or sore throat; other symptoms include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.

If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home from work and contact your health care provider to determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.

CLEAN YOUR WORK SPACE

The flu virus survives on hard surfaces for several hours, so frequently cleaning the following commonly touched surfaces can be a big help. (Some departments may find it beneficial to establish a regular schedule for this type of cleaning.)

  • Counters, surfaces and chairs in reception areas, meeting rooms, and group offices
  • Keyboards and remote controls
  • Touch pads on fax and copy machines or printers
  • File cabinet and drawer handles
  • Kitchen appliance handles and buttons (fridges, microwaves, sinks, coffee pots, water dispensers, etc.)

MORE RESOURCES

U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS) is your one-stop public information website for flu-related preparedness, FAQs, etc.

Watch Flu.gov’s winning PSA on flu prevention, appropriately titled ‘H1N1 Rap by Dr. Clarke’

H1N1 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Managers and Supervisors

Contact the Environment, Health and Safety office at EHS@ucop.edu for flu questions or any other safety related concern.


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