It’s August. So let’s talk about the flu!
Why are we talking about the flu in August?
It turns out; August is the perfect time to
start talking about flu prevention—
before the first cases begin to pop up.
We asked Caregiver Training Advisor, Drew Chacho,
to give us his best advice for preparing your caregivers
and their clients to prevent the flu this upcoming season.
Here’s what Drew told us:
While the effects and severity of the influenza virus vary vastly year after year, it is undeniable that the flu greatly impacts the health of Americans. According to the CDC, there are between 12,000 and 79,000 deaths as a result of the influenza virus each year. And, no one is immune—clients and caregivers alike.
What Can You Do to Help Your Caregivers?
Above all else, the best preventative solution to the flu is getting the vaccine! The effectiveness of the vaccine may vary, depending on the strain; however, research has shown that receiving the vaccine significantly reduces the risk of flu illness by 40-60%.
- Support your staff by providing flu vaccinations if you can.
- Offer rewards for Caregivers who get vaccinated early.
- Support Caregivers who need to call out because of flu symptoms.
- Remind staff of the importance of covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
- Promote handwashing!
By reminding your staff of these preventative measures, and promoting such behaviors, the spread of the flu virus can be much more easily managed.
What Can You Do to Help Your Clients?
Similarly, we recommend vaccinations!
- Adults over the age of 65, residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, individuals with weakened immune systems and chronic illnesses, and obese individuals are all at the highest risk for developing flu complications.
- Promote healthy habits such as regularly disinfecting surfaces, hand washing, and covering mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing to aid in flu prevention.
It is best to stop the spread of illness whenever possible, as this virus is very mobile and readily spread.
Would You Recognize the Signs and Symptoms?
- Fever over 100.4⁰ F
- Aching muscles
- Chills and sweats
- Dry, persistent cough
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
Ready to Learn More?
Are your caregivers prepared to help themselves and their clients who are at risk for the flu? Now you can find out. Download the Free Infection Control Caregiver Challenge. Distribute it to your Caregivers to measure and boost their awareness of common infection control issues, including the flu.