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Assignment # 6 Option # 2 – Influenza, Prevention in the Office Submitted By: Jennifer McRae and Jason Young Submitted To: Martin Cooney Date of Submission: April 19, 2018. Influenza and Prevention: A Report and its Recommendations for Prevention in the Office Influenza, or “the flu”, as it’s known to most, plagues a huge percentage of the population each year. Not knowing the facts that lie behind the illness, especially in the workplace, can have consequences on an i
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    Assignment # 6 Option # 2  –  Influenza, Prevention in the Office Submitted By: Jennifer McRae and Jason Young Submitted To: Martin Cooney Date of Submission: April 19, 2018.   2 Influenza and Prevention: A Report and its Recommendations for Prevention in the Office Influenza, or “the flu”, as it’s known to most, plagues a huge percentage of the population each year. Not knowing the facts that lie behind the illness, especially in the workplace, can have consequences on an individual’s overall health. Infl uenza does not discriminate; it can affect any person at any time, with many symptoms unique to said individual. More so, it can cause an impact on their work performance and attendance. But, there must be an underlying cause as to why many choose to go to work while infected with the flu. For many, it is due to personal impression that is made at the workplace, such as demonstrating an impeccable work ethic and attendance record to their superiors and co workers (Wahrman, 2017). However, this poses a risk to those working along side them, especially those who are more vulnerable to infection. It is imperative that each workplace, aside from those working in the health sector, has a plan set in place to protect the workspace and those working within the workspace. Furthermore, having basic knowledge about influenza is imperative for prevention. In efforts to ensure prevention across the working environment, the purpose of this document is to provide useful information regarding the spread and prevention of influenza and its subtypes. Broken down into categories, topics to be included are signs and symptoms of influenza, statistics within the region, and prevention methods such as vaccination, appropriate personal hygiene and having access to sick days available for employees. While total prevention is unattainable, it is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle to protect the health and integrity of those working in a workspace. Statistics To begin, it is important to recognize current statistics surround influenza and how it tends to affect different regions and age categories. According to the Government of Canada, each year there are “12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths” as a direct result of influenza (Canada, Fact Sheet: Know the flu facts, 2016). It is ranked in the top 10 leading causes of death within Canada (Canada, For health professionals: Flu (influenza), 2017). While all people run the risk of being infected with influenza, there are particular individuals who carry a much greater risk. Specifically, those aged 65 and older, children under the age of 60 months, pregnant woman, and individuals who have coronary disorders, cancers, diabetes and renal disease, carry a greater risk of being infected with influenza and its possible outcomes (Canada, For health professionals: Flu (influenza), 2017). In Durham Region, from September to March, a total of 421 cases of the flu were confirmed (Durham, 2018). This is not including the many unreported cases that are managed from home. It is important to recognize these statistics as many of these individuals are a part of the workplace. Further, it is even more important to   3 consider the signs and symptoms of the flu and its subtypes to have a greater reasoning behind prevention methods. Figure 1 Image of positive influenza tests from Canada.ca Signs   and   Symptoms   of    Influenza It is important to recognize what to look for when flu season begins, especially in the workplace. People with the flu can become contagious one day before their symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick, with the most contagious period being three to four days after becoming ill (The Flu, 2014) . “Influenza is characterized by sudden onset of fever, headache and back muscle pain. Other symptoms can include cough, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, hoarseness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea”  (Marianne Neighbors, 2010). If it is apparent that symptoms are displayed, staying home and avoiding contact with others for at least four days is best recommended to prevent further spread of the flu (Key Facts about Influenza, 2017). Within the timeframe of one week it may spread through coughing, sneezing, and possibly talking. Less frequently, an individual with the flu could touch their mouth or nose and inadvertently touch an object, passing the flu onto others (Key Facts about Influenza, 2017). Preventing the spread of influenza is the best course of action to avoid getting sick. Some of these methods include receiving vaccination, practicing cleanliness and proper personal hygiene within the workplace, and allowing for sick days to avoid further spread of the virus.   4 Vaccination The vaccination for influenza is made from deactivated flu particles and typically protect against the three main strains of influenza (City of Toronto, 2018). By receiving a vaccination, it presents less risk to individuals within the workplace, including people who are more vulnerable to a serious flu illness (Key Facts about Influenza, 2017). Finding a facility to receive a flu shot, as it’s commonly known as, is fairly accessible. The most common places to have a vaccination administered are at a general practitioner’s office , pharmacies, health centers, and local health departments (Patel, 2016). Many places, such as Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall, are made available to receive the vaccination once flu season has begun. Getting protection from the flu is free and will prevent others from getting very sick in the workplace (Patel, 2016).Contrary to common myth, vaccines are among the safest medical products made available (City of Toronto, 2018). It is highly recommended for individuals working in close quarters with others to consider the flu vaccination, especially being free for all to receive and its benefits of prevention. It is also a smart practice to receive this vaccination as considering how cost effective this method is (free), it could result in less time taken off work, which will affect an employee’s bottom line. Figure 2 Image taken from Bing Images Personal   Hygiene   and   General   Cleanliness Keeping the office environment clean and sterile is an excellent practice and good habit to form in efforts to help prevent influenza germs from spreading. It can also keep the employees of the workspace happy by providing an environment where they feel clean, safe and healthy. It only takes one sick employee to infect up to fifty percent of This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under  CC BY-ND 
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