Achoo! Cold and Flu Season Fact Vs. Fiction

December 09, 2014


Cold weather means things like snowmen, hot chocolate and riding cardboard snowboards. Unfortunately, it also means that cold and flu season is upon us. ACHOO!

Why does a packaging company care about this? In addition to supplying companies with comprehensive packaging solutions, Ernest also provides sanitation products and janitorial supplies as well as safety training and audits.

Illness costs $578 billion annually in sick days and workers compensation. Nearly 40% of that cost comes from lost productivity due to “presenteeism,” when employees are at work but illness keeps them from performing at their best. ACHOO!

There’s a lot of misinformation about how to stay healthy at work. Here are some facts and fiction about cold and flu season:

FACT: Washing your hands is the best way to prevent sickness.

Duh. We shouldn’t have to say it, but we do. Nearly 40% of people admit to not washing their hands after coughing or sneezing. Whaaa?!

Wash your hands with warm water and soap. Then thoroughly dry them with paper towels, which reduces germs by 77%.

FICTION: Feed a cold, starve a fever.

This old wives tale is a myth. If you have the flu — or nearly any illness — your body needs fluids and food to fuel your recovery.

FACT: Your office is full of germs!

Not to get too gross, but think about how many grubby little fingers are on things like elevator buttons, stair railings and the copy machine. Yuk. Using hand sanitizer can reduce your sick days by 21%. Before a meeting, give the table and chairs a quick cleaning with disinfectant wipes.

FICTION: You can get the flu from not wearing a coat or having wet hair.

Nope. You get the flu from being exposed to the influenza virus. While we wouldn’t recommend running down the street like Gene Kelly, it won’t give you the flu.


FACT: You should cough or sneeze into your elbow.

When you sneeze, you can — AH-AH-ACHOO! — spray up to 3,000 infectious droplets into the air. Each time you sneeze into your hands or the air, you can infect up to seven different people. When you cough or sneeze, do it into your elbow.

FICTION: You can’t afford to take sick days!

It’s better to miss one day of work than to risk having 10 sick days once all of your office mates catch your nasty bug. When you come to work sick, you’re actually costing the company money. The CDC recommends staying home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

Coming to work when you’re sick doesn’t make you a hero; it makes you Patient Zero.

Want a packaging company that knows fact from fiction when it comes to packaging solutions? Contact us today to discuss all of your packaging needs. ACHOO!