Get your flu shot and other tips for staying healthy this flu season
Flu season is just around the corner, so now is the time to rally your defenses. Here are a few tips and resources to help you get started:
On Oct. 22, UCOP employees received free flu shots at the Kaiser Center. If you missed this, there are many other ways to get your flu shot. Flu shots are available at your health care provider’s offices and other convenient locations, like pharmacies, and they’re covered by UC’s health plans.
While not completely protective, a flu vaccine shields you from the most common viruses. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illness and missed days of work, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
Don’t come to work if you’re ill
Protect your own health as well as that of your coworkers by not coming to work if you feel ill, including if you have congestion, body aches or a fever (even a mild one). The flu is highly contagious and even people who don’t have symptoms yet may spread it. According to the CDC, symptoms begin about two days after the flu virus enters the body; and healthy adults can infect others one day before symptoms develop and up to seven days after becoming sick.
Notify your supervisor if you need to take sick leave or work from home. You will recover faster if you rest, drink fluids and take other self-care measures. You will protect your coworkers if you stay home until you are no longer contagious.
Wash your hands
Protect yourself and others with a few simple but very effective steps:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Don’t use hot water, which chaps your skin and creates openings for viruses and bacteria. Use plenty of soap and wash for a full 15–20 seconds. (Count or sing “Happy Birthday” to see how long this actually is!) Rinse your hands well.
- Wash your hands as soon as possible after handling items that many other people have touched (e.g., money, implements at a salad bar, etc.).
- Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands right away. Rub it thoroughly over your hands and fingers and let it air dry. (Don’t wipe it off.)
- Cover your mouth with your arm (not your hand) when sneezing or coughing. Wash your hands after blowing your nose.
All OP facilities are equipped with automatic hand sanitizer dispensers. If the dispenser in your area is broken, missing, or needs a refill, please submit an iRequest to have it serviced.
For more information about the flu, check out the Centers for Disease Control’s flu resources.