According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, viral illnesses are most commonly acquired and spread in the months of September through April. When an employee becomes sick with an illness, not only is he or she under the weather, but the employer and business is now losing money as a result! It is estimated by the Center for Disease and Control that US businesses loose roughly $10.4 billion dollars in any given year related to employees getting the influenza virus. Have no fear though; today we are going to discuss the common illnesses found during these months and tips on how to prevent these diseases.
Common Illnesses in the Fall
According to Kristina Duda, R.N., Cold and Flu expert, common illnesses include:
• The Common Cold
• Influenza (The Flu)
• Ear Infections
• Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu)
• Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
Prevention of Diseases
The Center for Orthopedic Care in Bridgewater, NJ, gives out multiple tips on the prevention of these illness during peak cold and flu season:
- Wash your hands. In a world with public places teeming with contagious viruses and bacteria, our hands can be our greatest source of infection. We are always touching things with our hands and absentmindedly rubbing our eyes or putting food in our mouths which could be the introduction of an infection into our systems.
- Avoid sick people. It is important to remember that people with illnesses are often highly contagious. Try to avoid dealing with sick people altogether, but if it must be done, at least remember to wash your hands afterwards.
- Get plenty of sleep. Sleep allows your body to recharge and gives your immune system a chance to replenish after a long day of fighting off microscopic invaders. Failing to get enough sleep is setting your body up for easy access to infection.
- Cut back on the alcohol. Drinking alcohol monopolizes the resources that your body should use to prevent infections.
- Salt water has major benefits. Salt is a natural antibacterial agent. You can squirt salt water up your nose with a Neti Pot or use it to gargle. It cleans the bacteria-riddled mucus out of your nose and helps to fight respiratory infections.
- Drink lots of water. Your body will function better if not starved for its most important molecule. Your body is made up of about 60% water and is constantly using water for all vital processes. Replenish your body’s water supply to help yourself run at maximum capacity.
- Take vitamins and supplements. While many vitamins can be helpful supplements to your diet, Vitamin D is probably the most important, at least during the winter months. Vitamin D is absorbed into your body right from the sun’s rays, but in the winter months, more time is spent indoors than usual and supplements can help make up the difference.
- Eat your fruits and veggies. This helps vary your diet and allows you to get the vitamins with which fruits and veggies are rich. Giving your body the tools to stay healthy is half the battle, and eating fruits and veggies certainly does this.
- Try probiotics. These supplements contain live bacteria meant to balance the microflora (bacteria) in your digestive tract. By maintaining this balance, we leave ourselves less susceptible to infection.
- Listen to your body. Your body will give you a warning when it’s beginning to succumb to an infection. Whether that warning is a headache, a bad mood or feeling uncharacteristically tired, respond to these warnings by making sure you are keeping up with all the other tips.
Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe (and healthy) this Monday.
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company