You know the feeling, everyone around you is sneezing, achy, maybe even
feverish. It may be enough to make you want to stay home from work and
avoid all contact with other people. But it turns out you may be able
to protect yourself during cold and flu season with something that’s
easy, basic and free like hand washing.
“Frequent hand washing washes away germs you may have picked up from
either people or contaminated surfaces,” says Danielle Wood, a Nurse
Catawba Valley Family Health Centers*. “That’s important because one of the most common ways to
wind up with a cold is to rub your eyes or nose right after your hand
has been contaminated with a cold virus.”
So when should you wash? Probably more often than you think is necessary.
- before and after bathroom use
- throughout the day if someone near you is sick, or if it seems there are
a number of co-workers walking around with colds or flu
- before, during and after food preparation
- after handling pets
- before eating
How do you wash effectively?
Lather with soap and water for about 10-15 seconds and scrub thoroughly
before rinsing well and drying your hands. If dry skin is a concern, try
using a moisturizer after washing.
Other ways to fight workplace germs:
- cover your mouth or nose with disposable paper products when you cough or sneeze
- keep items like pens and pencils out of your mouth
- if you are really sick, stay home and take a sick day
- clean or disinfect your workstation or desk, especially computer keyboards
It may require some extra effort, but taking these few extra steps to minimize
office exposure to germs and spreading infection is well worth it. To
learn more about how CVMC can help improve the overall wellness in your
workplace visit CVMC’s
Occupational Health Center and
Catawba Valley Family Health Centers.
*Catawba Valley Family Health Centers provide convenient access to quality
care while reducing healthcare cost and giving employees the benefit they
value most, better health. These practices work closely with employers
to provide a medical practice onsite within an employer’s facility.
A medical provider, a clinical support person and a wellness coordinator
are dedicated to the employer, helping them keep employees healthy and
productive with little down-time from work.