Manchester School Hit By Flu Outbreak
A Greater Manchester school has been hit by a flu outbreak, with almost 250 pupils and teachers coming down with symptoms. The Manchester Evening News reports that the school, which has 1,200 pupils, was forced to cancel a planned inspection
due to the outbreak and has written to parents, urging them to maintain standards of cleanliness to avoid the spread of infection.
Dr Martin Strudley, Medical Director for Sound Advice, part of the ELAS Group, says: “The flu virus is extremely contagious and can spread up to 6 feet through droplets from sneezing or coughing – it can even be spread through talking. In a school or workplace environment it can spread quickly, impacting both health and productivity.”
The best way to reduce exposure to flu in a workplace is to use basic hygiene procedures and avoid contact with ill people. Dr Strudley says: “Flu is an airborne virus so it’s important to always cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and cough/sneeze into your upper sleeve. Avoid touching your face as much as possible and, of course, the number one tip is to stay home if you are ill. There are other small changes which people can make to improve their overall health, which can also help ward off flu, including eating healthy food, drinking plenty of water, exercising and getting enough rest.”
We’ve put together our top tips for a healthy workplace during flu season: Promote good hand hygiene – hands should be washed regularly and always after coughing or sneezing. Put signs up around the workplace if needed to reinforce the message Stay away if sick – consider flexible working options allowing employees to work from home. In a school environment, substitute teachers should be available to cover staff illnesses Encourage vaccination – offer employees flu vaccines in the workplace or give them time to visit a flu clinic. All at risk groups are eligible to receive free flu jabs from the NHS. Wipe down desks and frequently touched surfaces e.g. phones, computers, door handles, water fountain handles Don’t share -“ sharing anything can increase the spread of germs and increase the risk of getting ill. Try not to use your co-workers’ phone, desk, computer or other equipment – if you have to then make sure they’ve been wiped down first