Flu, or more properly influenza is a disease caused by the flu virus. There are many different types of flu viruses. Flu presents a variety of symptoms including:
- shortness of breath
- high fever
- muscle and joint pains.
Possibly the most enduring symptom is fatigue which can last for many weeks. The flu is one of the largest causes of seasonal sickness absence over the winter months, yet can be easily prevented through a company flu jab.
The flu is highly contagious and can affect people of all ages including those who are in good health. Serological studies in healthcare professionals have shown that approximately 30 to 50% of influenza infections can be asymptomatic, yet still be infectious. Worryingly, this means that up to half of our employees who catch flu in any single year may be inadvertently infecting patients, colleagues or their family because they have no fever, cough, runny nose or other symptoms to warn them they are infectious.
Why offer your employees a free flu jab?
Each year the World Health Organisation tracks seasonal variations of influenza and decides which vaccinations will be included in the flu jab. This helps to prevent some of the more common flu strains from spreading and causing sickness.
The flu jab is a simple, yet cost effective way to protect your staff from flu over the winter months. Contrary to popular belief the flu jab cannot give you the flu! There are some people who should not receive the flu jab and our healthcare professionals will go through this in more detail with your employees. It is difficult to give the exact percentages as the effectiveness varies with the age of the person and the presence or absence of any underlying diseases. Its effectiveness also depends on getting the correct flu viruses in the vaccine. However, Every year the flu affects over 15% of the population. Those who are older are more at risk.
Research shows that the flu vaccination;
- reduces time lost from work through illness by up to 43%
- lessens the amount of employee GP visits made by up to 44%
We recommend organising your company flu jab in August but vaccinations can be ordered until February.