5 Methods to avoid the flu at work

Someone in your area is probably experiencing the flu — someone you care about, a co-worker, or the guy who was simply breathing you on the train today. It’s been an early on, and especially nasty, begin to this year’s flu season.

In line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the condition is here five weeks early, sweeping across 41 states. In Illinois, the flu has killed six people.

Hospitals nationwide are swamped with patients. The CDC says the percentage of individuals seeing their doctors for flu-like symptoms has doubled to 5.6, from 2.8 percent last month.

For most professionals, falling ill simply isn’t a choice. As you recover during intercourse, work piles up and emails continue steadily to pour in.

Important thing: In the event that you haven’t gotten the flu, do all you can in order to avoid it.

Dr. David Scheiner, an internist in Chicago Hyde Park’s neighborhood, kept President Obama healthy for 22 years. Here, the veteran physician offers tips for preventing the flu:

1. Get yourself a flu shot. That is a no-brainer, Scheiner says. He advises — even badgers — most of his patients to have the shot (particularly if they have conditions such as for example diabetes, emphysema, etc). In the event that you haven’t yet, go get one now–the flu virus lingers on into May, Scheiner says. Although the shot isn’t 100 percent effective, it can protect about 70 percent of these who receive it. For many who still fall ill, the shot makes the flu much milder, he says.

2. Avoid crowds. Being in large crowds escalates the likelihood you’ll contract the flu virus. When possible, consider alternative transportation to work rather than riding the train or bus. Also, have a rain look for that premiere of “Zero Dark Thirty” this weekend, or any movie for example.

3. Wash the hands. Your workplace is a filthy place. One study said the common desk harbors 400 times more germs when compared to a toilet seat. Even worse, no more than 15 percent of officer workers clean their workspace on a weekly basis.

Washing the hands thoroughly, especially after you have are exposed to anyone who has the flu, is paramount. Make certain you’re washing for at least 20 seconds (or around the space of the song “Happy Birthday”). If you cannot wash thoroughly, choose hand sanitizer, Scheiner says. Actually, make it with you.

4. Limit physical contact. Should someone in your area, like a spouse or close co-worker, get the flu–a person with whom you need to interact regularly — avoid touching see your face just as much as you can, advises Scheiner.

If the boss, who won’t go home sick, really wants to provide you with a high-five for your great work, politely decline or make it a fist bump. Then go wash your fist.

5. Reconsider visiting the physician. If you believe you have the flu, but you are not quite sure, don’t automatically go to the doctor. Call instead. Otherwise, you risk pressing germs at the doctor’s office, or spreading them to others. (Editor’s note: Anytime you visit a doctor’s office, bring your own reading material. Sick people handle those magazines.)

In the event that you fall ill, Scheiner advises drinking a lot of fluids, getting plenty of rest, taking acetaminophen for fever and ibuprofen for the pains and aches, and prevent going outside in the cold. Oh, and don’t go in to the office and infect everybody else.

With any luck, you will be feeling better in a few days.