What can we learn from the Covid pandemic, to help us avoid the flu?

About flu
Last updated: 25/08/21
ANSWER BY: Dr Richard Dawood Medical Director
Date Added: 09/08/21

The flu virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe – the same as coronaviruses. Therefore, the same social distancing and hygiene precautions that protect against Covid also protect against flu.

An important lesson that will serve us well in future is to stay away from other people when you have respiratory symptoms. It has long been a British tradition to carry on regardless of minor symptoms, but we really should be more conscious of the need to protect those around us from infection – both at home and at work.

Encouraging employees to stay home if they are unwell is a good starting point. Offering fair sickness pay to incentivise this behaviour is also encouraged. If you do go out, wearing a mask will protect others from your sickness. It should be considered a common courtesy to wear a mask if you are unwell in all settings so that infection does not pass on.

Covid-19 has definitely highlighted the dangers and seriousness of respiratory diseases and reminds us that without vaccinations disease can spread quickly and dangerously amongst the population and globally. Hopefully this pandemic highlights the importance of a flu vaccine at keeping the flu virus under control.

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