Sick days ahead

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The mercury is falling, the trees are almost bare and the sun is setting a little earlier each day. This can only mean one thing. Flu season is here. How bad the season will be is hard to determine according to the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC). What is certain is the flu can cost you and your business a lot!

According to Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, the 2012-13 flu season was one of the most severe in the United States in more than a decade. Americans missed 230-million work days and lost $8.5 billion in wages! Children lost more than 90-million school days.

According to Flu.gov, a federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, signs and symptoms of the flu include:

  • A 100 degree or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

Knowing the symptoms can help you avoiding the flu. There are other steps you can take. The best way, according to CDC and Flu.gov, is through vaccination. For the best results everyone over the age of 6-months should be vaccinated as soon as it’s available in your area. There are also some everyday steps you can take to help stop the spread of germs.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If you’re sick with a flu-like illness, stay home until your fever has been gone for 24-hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

Once the symptoms subside you may feel good enough to go to work. But that’s not what the DHHS recommends. However, there are certain technologies like TDS’ managedIP Hosted (our business VoIP system) that make working from home or remotely possible.

The flu season is just starting. It normally peaks in January and February. But that can vary. You can monitor which areas of the country are dealing with the most cases of the flu by clicking here.

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About Barclay Pollak

Barclay Pollak is an award winning journalist and proud to be a member of the Corporate Communications team at TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) in Madison, Wis. Barclay joined the team in April of 2013. Before that Barclay worked as an Anchor/ Reporter for the NBC affiliate in Madison. While at NBC-15 Barclay was recognized by several organizations for his contributions to the television news industry. They include the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association (Edward R. Murrow Regional Award) and the Chicago/Midwest National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (2012 Emmy Nominee). When he’s not working Barclay enjoys cheering for all the sports teams in Wisconsin. Barclay’s a University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus and a huge fan of Badger athletics. Barclay is fascinated by the ever changing world of technology and spends a fair amount of his free time reading about the latest and greatest developments online. When Barclay’s not learning about technology he’s scouring the Internet in search of freeware. Barclay has an 8-year-old daughter and lives with his girlfriend of almost five years on Madison’s southwest side. Follow on G+.

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