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Avoid the Flu and Bronchitis at Work
Bronchitis is identified as being either chronic or acute. Acute bronchitis usually is limited into ration to anywhere from a few days to a week or two. It's often accompanied by flu like symptoms. Once ill, you can expect to have several days, with limited or no productivity, and even more time not performing at your best. While chronic bronchitis tends to last months or even years, the symptoms are much less pronounced and debilitating.
Of these two basic bronchitis categories, acute bronchitis is typically associated with colds and flu like symptoms. The symptoms of acute bronchitis include:
1. A Feeling of Tightness or Constriction in Your Chest
2. Usually a Sore Throat
4. Wheezing and Difficulty Breathing
5. A Low to Mid Grade Fever
In a business situation, you often see many people coming to work ill claiming it's all for the good of the company. While I'm certain they have the best of intentions, viral influenza (flu) can be spread through direct person-to-person contact or indirectly in the air and on hard surfaces. This means that if someone who's sick coughs and doesn't cover their mouth, they can put everyone at the workplace at risk for contracting the illness.
So consider someone who dutifully covers her mouth when she coughs. While in the break room, she been pours yourself a cup of coffee and sits at the table, transferring ultramicroscopic infectious material to both the coffee pot, coffee cup and table. Anyone coming into contact with any of these physical items could then theoretically be at risk of contracting the flu bug and becoming ill.
Although most flu is viral in nature and therefore contagious, some acute bronchitis is bacterial and not contagious. Unfortunately, you need a medical degree and some tests to determine if someone who is ill is also contagious. The tips below should be considered as a strategy to limit your potential exposure to viruses that could make you sick.
1. Wash your hands. You can dramatically cut the risk of catching many common illnesses through careful handwashing and the use of hand sanitizers.
2. Clean your equipment. If you share an office cubicle, keyboard or telephone, use sanitizing hand wipes before starting your shift
3. Do virtual meetings. When possible, attend meetings virtually using a conference call system. The last time you are in contact with groups of people, the less risk of contracting an illness.
4. Use a paper towel to open doors. Remember the coffee cup example above in the break room? Same is true for doorknobs. If you can use a throwaway paper towel to open doors without looking like a germ obsessive crazy person, this is really a good idea.
5. Use care in the restroom. No guys, I'm not talking about your aim. Consider all surfaces suspect. That toilet or urinal handle has been used by many people before they wash their hands. Heck, it's no secret that many people use public restrooms and not wash their hands of all. I suggest that when finished, thoroughly wash your hands than using the paper towel you dried them with, open the restroom door when you leave. You can then discreetly dispose of the towel anywhere, but have effectively limited your exposure to potential viral infections.
6. Get a flu shot.
Acute bronchitis can begin with an illness caused by a common influenza virus. Getting an annual vaccination can help protect you from influenza (the flu) and bronchitis.
7. Limit exposure to sick people
During influenza season consider limiting your use of public areas like a break room, kitchen or cafeteria.
8. Cover your mouth.
Be aware of people around you who don't cover their mouths when they cough. Tried either avoid them or keep your distance when possible.
9. Avoid smoking and smoke whenever possible.
There are many chemicals, fumes and particle dust that can irritate and compromise bronchial passages. None more so however than smoking.
None of these tips should be considered absolute and should be used with a good dose of common sense. While walking around with a scuba tank and rubber gloves may be excessive, many of these tips can go a long way in limiting your exposure to viruses that can result in the flu or even bronchitis.
About the Author: Abigail Franks writes on a variety of subjects which include family, health, and home. For more information on the flu and bronchitis visit the site at http://www.asthma-treatment-resources.com/bronchitis/bronchitis-index.html and http://www.asthma-treatment-resources.com/