According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), flu-like illnesses tend to increase in late December to early January and peak in February. Although this year’s flu season seems less intense than last year, the CDC says they have seen “significant increases” in flu activity in recent weeks.
“The MGH has seen an increase in the number of flu cases,” says Andrew Gottlieb, NP, FNP-BC, director of MGH Occupational Health Services. “Typically, we see more severe illness in the elderly and the very young. This year, the flu seems to be affecting young and middle aged adults more so than in past years.”
To maintain both workplace and personal health, Gottlieb says it is important to keep in mind these recommendations:
- Do not come to work if you have a fever of 100.5°F or more than one of the following symptoms: runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, body aches
- If you are suspected of having – or know you have – the flu, you are required to remain out of work until your fever is gone for 24 hours – without the use of anti-fever medication.
- If your symptoms start at work, do not wait to report symptoms or delay leaving work; you are potentially infecting others. There is no need to visit Occupational Health but you should call 617-726-2217 to report your illness to one of the nurses.
Haven’t been vaccinated? It’s not too late. Occupational Health Services is offering the flu vaccine – free of charge – to all employees, Monday through Friday, 7 am to 5 pm. Call 617-726-2217 for an appointment or just walk into the office located at 165 Charles River Plaza, Suite 404.
Read more articles from the 01/10/14 Hotline issue.