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8 Ways You Can Stay Healthy at Work

This website is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated. For updated information on the current flu season, see the CDC Seasonal Flu website.

February 17, 2009 1:00 PM ET

You can protect yourself and others by following these key action steps:


Get vaccinated against seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu. If you are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 flu complications you should receive the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine. People at higher risk for flu-related complications include: children younger than 5 years old, but especially children younger than 2 years old; people aged 65 years or older; pregnant women; adults and children who have asthma, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions; chronic lung disease; heart disease; blood disorders; endocrine disorders, such as diabetes; kidney, liver, and metabolic disorders; weakened immune system due to disease or medication; and people younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy. More information on people at higher risk for flu complications is available here.


Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. Germs spread this way.


Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, or cough and sneeze into your elbow. Dispose of tissues in no-touch trash receptacles.


Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available. Be sure to wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.


Keep frequently touched common surfaces clean, such as telephones, computer keyboards, doorknobs, etc.


Do not use other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment. If you need to use a co-worker’s phone, desk, or other equipment, clean it first. And as a courtesy, also clean after you are finished.


Don’t spread the flu! If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home.  Symptoms of flu include fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and tiredness. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, including the 2009 H1N1 flu and have respiratory problems without a fever. CDC recommends that sick employees stay home if they are sick with flu-like illness until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever and without the use of fever-reducing medicines.


Maintain a healthy lifestyle through rest, diet, exercise, and relaxation.

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