How to Manage the Flu on your Work-Site

When a worker on a project in Afghanistan was diagnosed with the flu, Remote Medical International Program Manager Steve Bright had the team act quickly. 

Protecting the entire workforce, Remote Medical International isolated the patient and treated the patient’s symptoms. 

“Remote Medical International is responsible for protecting the workforce and the patient,” said Bright. “Isolating the patient becomes a preventative medicine.”

From October to May, flu season can affect individuals and workforces. There are a few preventative measures that workers and safety staff can take to ensure the entire workforce does not get infected. Keeping hygiene a priority, making sure flu vaccine shipments arrive and are administered, and preparing for isolating patients can both prevent the flu and help contain it if a worker falls ill. 

We gathered more information on these preventative approaches, covering hygiene, vaccination, and isolation on-site.

VACCINES

As part of the CENTCOM MOD 13 medical screening requirement, military and civilian contractors are required to have appropriate vaccines, including the flu vaccine. And since the flu strain can change every year, It’s necessary to ship new flu vaccines to a project site. 

The CDC also advises that the vaccine is the most important way to prevent the flu. It is recommended for all persons above the age of six months, except for those who have contradictions with the vaccines. 

Remote Medical International has successfully shipped 3,000 vaccine shipments to a project in Afghanistan. By understanding the logistics of cold chain shipping, we are able to provide this necessary flu vaccine to prevent sickness on-site. 

The packaging, flight times, and customs to deliver vaccines can all impact the shipment. In cold chain shipping, the temperature must be monitored ensuring the vaccines don’t spoil. Both travel time and making sure the correct custom documents have been taken care of before shipping can all prevent delays in the shipment, and protecting the vaccines. 

HYGIENE

Since 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted through touch, it is important to always wash your hands during flu season. The flu virus typically spreads if an infected person coughs or sneezes near a susceptible person, according to the CDC. The virus can also spread by airborne transmission and contaminated surfaces. 

The CDC recommends hygiene and cough etiquette to prevent the flu from spreading from person to person. When coughing, be sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue in the nearest waste receptacle. 

Remote Medical International also recommends to wash your hands consistently. When washing, be sure to first wet your hands with clean water and then lather with soap. Make sure to rub in between your fingers and under finger nails, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. Rinse your hands and then dry with a towel or by air. 

Want to read more about how to keep up with your hygiene and prevent the flu? Download a free hygiene infographic here

ISOLATION

If a patient does contract the flu on a worksite, Bright recommends isolation from the workforce. The patient can then recover with proper treatment and prevent from spreading the illness to anyone else. 

On the project site in Afghanistan, Remote Medical International has three isolation rooms in the main building. The rooms are available to someone if they contract the flu or other serious illness. This protects the possible 200-3,000 other people on-site that the patient may interact with on a daily basis. 

Isolating the patient can both help them recover and prevent the spread of the flu to others on-site. 

Protecting your workforce and the patient are top priority, especially around flu season. These approaches can help you address and prepare for the illness on-site. Want to learn more about how to protect the workforce from illnesses? Contact Remote Medical International to hear how our services can help. 

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