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Do your part to stay healthy and help prevent the spread of flu

Flu season has not only arrived, but the flu has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As UCOP Chief Risk Officer Grace Crickette says, everyone is a risk manager. Whether it’s a basic cold or full-on flu, you can help prevent the spread of illness by incorporating a few simple steps into your daily routine, including:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Get a flu shot.
  • If you do get sick, avoid contact with others.

Remember that you may have the flu and be contagious even before you have symptoms. According to the CDC, symptoms begin one to four days after the virus enters the body; and healthy adults may infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to seven days after becoming sick.

It’s not too late to get vaccinated, and vaccine is still available in California despite reports of shortages in some areas. Talk to your primary care physician to schedule an appointment or check with your local pharmacy. Most pharmacies provide this service on a walk-in basis, and many medical plans reimburse for the expense.

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.

The Office of Risk Services also provides funding for tissues and surface sanitizing wipes upon request. Please see your department safety officer about ordering supplies for your department.

For more information on the 2012–13 seasonal flu, including more prevention tips, check out the CDC website.

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