Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: The etiquette of flu prevention

Get a Life: The etiquette of flu prevention

Elbow is the new etiquette. That is, in the absence of a tissue, coughing into your elbow is the next best option for flu prevention.

On the theme of “know what to do about the flu,” the Centers for Disease Control and the Office of Personnel Management are providing information for federal workers and agency HR offices. Here are some of the basic tips if you want to be flu-free:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, especially after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Keep frequently touched common surfaces clean, such as telephones, computer keyboards, doorknobs, etc.
  • Do not use other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment. If you need to use a coworker’s phone, desk, or other equipment, clean it first.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after you are free of fever.

 So here are my questions for IT expert readers:

What would be best for cleaning off and keeping computer keyboards germ-free without causing problems to the equipment?

Does your office have hands-free trash cans for those tissues?

If you are in one of the groups for whom H1N1 Flu shots will be available first, are you planning to get vaccinated? The groups are pregnant women, caregivers of children younger than 6 months of age (e.g. parents, siblings, and child care providers), health care and emergency medical services personnel, persons from 6 months to 24 years of age, and those aged 25 to 64 years with medical conditions associated with a higher risk of flu complications (e.g. asthma, diabetes).

Finally, a word of advice: When in doubt, stay home and telework.

Posted by Judith Welles on Oct 06, 2009 at 12:12 PM


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