Be prepared for swine flu

07 January 2011

Citation have provided a summary of some general health & safety tips to prevent the spread of swine flu around your business.

How does Swine Flu spread?

The swine flu virus can be spread from person to person in the same way as ordinary cold and other flu viruses, mostly through coughing and sneezing.

The virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone coughs or sneezes then land on surfaces, where the virus can survive for up to 24 hours.

Anyone who touches these surfaces can spread the virus by the touching something else. Everyday items at work and in public places may have traces of the virus, including:

  • Food
  • Door handles
  • Remote controls
  • Hand rails
  • Phones
  • Kettles
  • Computer keyboards

People usually become infected by picking up the virus on their hands from contaminated objects and then placing their hands near their mouth or nose. It is also possible to breathe in the virus if it is suspended in airborne droplets.

Reduce the virus spreading

Practicing good hygiene is the single most effective way to stop the spread of diseases like flu.

You can protect yourself and colleagues by:

  • Ensuring everyone washes their hands regularly with soap and water – use signs to raise awareness around kitchens and toilets
  • Using antibacterial gel on hands – you could supply this in reception/signing in areas/kitchens/staff rooms etc
  • Cleaning surfaces regularly (such as door handles, computer keyboards, desk and mobile phones) using a normal cleaning product – build this into your normal cleaning processes

What to do if think you or a colleague has Swine Flu

People with swine flu typically have a fever or high temperature (over 38C or 100.4F) and may also have aching muscles, sore throat or a dry cough.

The symptoms are very similar to other types of seasonal flu and most people recover within a week, even without special treatment.

If you or a colleague has a fever or high temperature and two or more of the following symptoms, you/they may have swine flu:

  • unusual tiredness
  • headache
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath or cough
  • loss of appetite
  • aching muscles
  • diarrhoea or vomiting

If you, or a colleague think, you have swine flu it is recommended that you see GP who will determine the most appropriate action to take. Information on treatment can be found on the NHS website.

 

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