Every year as winter comes around and the weather starts to change, our staff often get struck down with coughs, sniffles, sneezes and fever, a sign that flu season is around. This is the time when symptoms like fatigue, coughing, sneezing, fever, cold, headache, body pain, sore throat, weakness, vomiting, joint pain, etc., are common among our workplaces.
In any organisation we are in contact with other staff members, customers and the general public, we sometimes share items, such as phones, computer keyboards, staplers, printers and photocopiers, desks, staff lunchroom – all of which are places where the flu virus can be easily transferred from one person to another.
Flu is spread when an infected person sneezes. The air is filled with the cough moisture which also is filled with the virus, and one can easily inhale the air and get affected by the virus.
Treating flu once you have the virus is reactive, the best way to deal with this is by being proactive and prevent the virus from even being caught.
In Australia, we are lucky to be able to have access to annual flu vaccinations for ourselves and our staff at a minimal cost. Due to being in contact with the public within our business, Dowell Solutions was able to obtain flu vaccinations from a local medical centre for a mere $20.00 per person. Many would spend this and more on over the counter medications to treat the symptoms once the virus is caught.
We also advise checking with your accountant as in some cases you may be able to claim the cost of flu vaccinations back as a business expense.
For some, this is less than an hour’s wage, compared to having staff members off ill with the flu for two to three days at a time, leaving you understaffed and under-productive.
Many Australians won’t take time off when they have the flu and will treat the symptoms with over the counter medication and continue to come to work. However, this will generally prolong the length of the virus affecting the person and still leads others to open for further infection.
Whether you employ staff, are self-employed, or are an employee getting an annual flu shot makes good business sense.
There have been lots of discussion over the past few years about the pros and cons of getting flu vaccinations and even the odd conspiracy. So we have developed an up to date list of things you should know about getting a flu vaccination to help combat some of the myths.
Things you need to know about the flu:
- The flu vaccination is grown in chicken eggs and can have traces of egg allergen. Up until recently many who are allergic to chicken eggs were advised not to get this vaccination; however it has now been proven to be safe.
- There is no live virus in the flu vaccination; therefore it cannot actually give you the flu virus once administered.
- Although your body begins producing antibodies straight after being injected with the flu vaccination, it can take up to two weeks before it takes full effect.
- It doesn’t cover every strain of flu, however, is updated every year to cover the major and most common strains.
- The flu vaccination is safe for pregnant women at all stages of their pregnancy.
- It is possible still to get a strain of flu even after having the vaccination, however, in general, it won’t affect you as bad as if you hadn’t had the vaccination.
We understand that some people won’t get a flu shot as they are terrified of needles, and even I have been in that category. However, in these cases as an employer, this is where it becomes really important to ensure that your employees understand how crucial it is and feel comfortable to stay away from work if and when they get the flu virus over the coming months.
The team at Dowell Solutions has had their flu shot, have you?