By Dr. Christian Raigosa, Kaiser Permanente Santa Clarita Medical Offices
People often use “flu” to describe a mild cold or illness, but there’s nothing mild about the flu. The timing of flu season is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. It can take up to two weeks for the body to develop immunity, so it’s important to vaccinate as early in the season as possible.
If one employee gets hit with the flu, your whole office could be in for a slowdown. This flu season, keep these important tips in mind and help your workforce stay strong.
Understand the difference between the flu and a cold
Influenza (short for “flu”) and the common cold are not the same. Both are upper respiratory infections, but flu symptoms tend to come on stronger and last longer. The flu is a virus that causes fever, headaches, and sore throats — and it can lead to serious infections, pneumonia, or worse. The flu generally infects people from late fall through early spring, while colds can occur throughout the year.
Learn how to help prevent the flu
You can help your employees stay healthy by setting up a flu shot clinic at your workplace. It’s easy to arrange and all of your employees are eligible — even if they’re not Kaiser Permanente members. Getting a vaccine early in flu season each year is the simplest, most effective way to stay flu-free.
It’s also important to get plenty of sleep, wash your hands often and sneeze or cough into your elbow to keep germs from spreading. Avoid touching your face during flu and cold season, and if you are sick, stay home.
Flu shots are available now to all Kaiser Permanente members 6 months and older at no-cost. To increase access to the vaccine, members in the Santa Clarita Valley can go to any of our Santa Clarita or Canyon Country locations, including medical offices and pharmacies, to receive their vaccination at no-cost, with no need for an appointment.
Flu season is coming – make plans now to protect yourself and your employees to avoid excessive sick days.
To find up-to-date flu shot locations near you, visit kp.org/flu.