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The True Cost of Getting the Flu and How to Avoid It

by Wendy on December 10, 2013

Last year Americans missed and estimated 70 million workdays due to the flu and 1 out of 3 people spent between $250 and $1000 out-of-pocket battling it. Here are the best ways to avoid the flu (and helping those around you at home   and here at work, too!)

HandwashingImage about Staying Well Avoiding Flu | Bazilian

  • Regularly and well (sing two full rounds of Happy Birthday or the alphabet song 3x fast), use soap and wash your fingers, hands, nails well.)
  • Wash your hands the moment you arrive home, before opening mail, putting away groceries, sitting down to the computer or turning on the TV.

Keep your hands away from your face, eyes and ears

  • These are the routes of fastest and surest exposure.
  • Don’t be afraid to politely refrain from shaking hands if you or someone else is not well. Keeping your distance (or having a friendly ‘elbow-to-elbow’ hello) can be the MOST respectful way to share greetings during flu season!

Eat well

  • The nutrients that fruits and vegetables offer provide some of your best defense nutritionally during cold and flu season—colorful fruits and veggies: oranges, berries, kiwi, grapes, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach/greens. . . absolutely any of the gifts of the garden. Regularly and consistently—aim for every meal!
  • Increasing research is pointing to the importance of vitamin D in helping keep the immune system working its best.
  • Hydrate with water, tea, soups and vegetable broths. Often and extra during this season.
  • Decrease/limit added sugars and heavy foods which require the body to work harder on digestion and direct some focus away from healthy immunity.


  • This includes getting extra rest at home in general AND being aware of resting if you are feeling under-the-weather.

Working HARD not to expose others

Workplaces have  lots and lots of doors, handles, doorknobs and often a good amount of movement between offices and shared spaces.

  • In the workplace, be sensitive to other people’s space and try not to contaminate others’ work areas if you are not feeling well. Wash your hands before using a shared keyboard, phone or other equipment.
  • Leave a note if you’ve used another’s desk area or phone if you are not feeling well, so the next person can take his or her own precautions and be reminded that we’re all in this together .  .  .to stay HEALTHY, and NOT to pass around the flu or colds this season.  And when you don’t feel well, try staying home.  Check with your employer about telecommuting if your sick if you still must work.  Better yet–stay home and get well.

Here are the top areas as shared by The Healthy Workplace Project study to watch out for and avoid in the workplace (and to keep extra clean) during flu season:

  • Sink faucet handles
  • Microwave door handles
  • Keyboards
  • Refrigerator door handles
  • Water fountain buttons
  • Vending machine buttons

See the infographic here.

An excerpt from the infographic:

Image about Healthy Workplace Project excerpt danger zones for flu in the workplace | Bazilian

Excerpt from Kimberly Clark Professional at

Be conscious of areas you are handling and remember to wash, wash, wash; eat well; exercise moderately and get plenty of rest!

Here’s wishing you good health throughout the flu and cold season.


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