Is your property ready for flu season?

It’s cold and flu season… Paying attention to some simple steps can go a long way in preventing illness, lessening absenteeism and helping to contribute to a more productive work environment.

According to the “2013 BOMA Global Office Tenant Survey,” health and hygiene is a very important to tenants as it relates to overall tenant satisfaction. Use Electronic Tenant® Solutions’ Instant Alert and Email Notification apps to communicate with tenants and score satisfaction points.

This is the time of year when we expect to see an increase in the number of respiratory infections in our community, including influenza, throat infections (pharyngitis) and other common illnesses. While these ailments are not unusual for this time of year, there are a number of things that you can do to protect yourself and others.

To help control the spread of cold and flu bugs:

  • Adhere to standard disease prevention recommendations: Use tissues and dispose of them properly.  Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Hands should be washed regularly with soap and water for 15-20 seconds. Alcohol-based sanitizers can be used when soap and water are not available.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs and do not share drinking glasses or eating utensils.
  • At home and in the office, routinely clean and disinfect surfaces that are high contact areas: Regular household cleaning products are adequate. Always follow label instructions when using any disinfectant. If chlorine bleach is used, mix ¼ cup chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of cool water.
  • Be aware of signs of illness: Symptoms of flu include fever (usually high), headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Symptoms of throat infections commonly include fever and sore throat without the stuffy nose and cough. The common cold usually does not present with fever.
  • Contact a doctor if you believe you have symptoms of a respiratory illness: Consult a doctor if you develop a fever and chills, cough, sore throat, headache, or muscle aches. Treatment may be available and if given, you should follow the doctor’s directions for taking the prescribed medication.
  • Talk to your medical provider about flu vaccination for you and your family: Vaccination is the single best way to protect against the flu. It is recommended that all children aged 6 months through 18 years of age receive the flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccine is readily available in the community and we encourage you to get it as soon as it is available in the fall and early winter. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, there is still benefit from getting the vaccine even into early spring or later.

To prevent spreading illness to others stay home when ill. If you (or any family member) have influenza, remain home and away from others until you are symptom-free and without a fever for at least 24 hours. If you (or any family member) have been diagnosed with bacterial pharyngitis (i.e. strep throat) you should remain home for at least 24 hours after starting antibiotics. This will ensure that the spread of disease is limited as much as possible.

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