Protect Your Bottom Line from the Flu

by Immunize Nevada

As a good manager, you’re always looking for ways to cut costs and raise revenue, but there’s a good chance you’ve overlooked an obvious drain on your resources.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that “the flu costs the United States more than $87 billion annually and is responsible for the loss of close to 17 million workdays each flu season. Tens of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands die from flu-related illnesses each year in the United States.”

So, one of the easiest ways to save money for your business is to encourage your employees to get vaccinated against the flu. “Years of research have shown vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza—for ourselves, our family members, co-workers, and anyone we interact with in our daily lives,” said Immunize Nevada Executive Director, Heidi Parker. “Flu season is here, so make sure you put getting a flu vaccine on your to-do list.”

There are a number of opportunities to get protected and Immunize Nevada makes it easy with its Flu Vaccine Finder on its website, www.influencenevada.org, which allows Nevadans to input their zip code, generating a list of locations nearby offering the flu vaccine. If you want to ensure the most participation though, you might consider hosting a flu clinic at your place of business, making it easy for all of your employees to get vaccinated.

Great Basin Orthopaedics (GBO) is one business that provides free flu shots onsite every year for its staff. “We’re exposed to hundreds of people every day, many of whom are already struggling with some kind of injury or pain,” explained billing manager, Kelsey Reese. “We don’t want to add to their problems by exposing them to additional germs.” This obviously goes both ways as the proactive approach helps keep GBO healthcare and administrative personnel healthy. “If a staff member is out with the flu, that creates all kinds of challenges, including scheduling of patients,” Reese added.

And the flu is serious business. It’s not just a sore throat and a few days of achy joints. The common signs of influenza are high fever, severe body aches, headache, being extremely tired, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, vomiting and/or diarrhea (which is more common in children).

In addition to the flu vaccine, the United States Department of Labor recommends these workplace controls:

  • Encouraging sick workers to stay home
  • Promoting hand hygiene and cough etiquette
  • Developing a policy for workers and clients who become ill in the workplace
  • Keeping the workplace clean

If someone is sick with a fever and respiratory symptoms, they should stay at home until 24 hours after their fever is gone without taking medicine.

Immunize Nevada offers an online toolkit with more resources for your business at influencenevada.org/toolkit/business.

Protect yourself, your employees and your customers from the flu. It’s one of the best things you can do for your bottom line. And your people.

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