Flu Update: Be Present to the Dangers of Presentee-ism!


You've heard of absenteeism – but have you heard of presenteeism? It's the opposite of absenteeism – and it's a risky behaviour when it comes to flu season.

Absenteeism is generally defined as the practice of regularly staying away from work or school without good reason. Presenteeism is the practice of going to work or school – or community events! – even when you have a good reason to stay away.

Presenteeism is a real concern in flu season because it not only prevents the ill person from recovering as quickly or fully as they might otherwise, but it also helps the flu virus to spread and affect others. This is particularly risky when those others are Elders, infants, and others with vulnerable immune systems, such as people with chronic health conditions.

Tips for Preventing the Flu:

 Get your vaccination early. Getting the annual flu shot is the best protection against influenza. They are offered free of charge for First Nations people in BC.

 Wash your hands frequently

 Avoid touching your face

 Keep your work surfaces clean, use disinfectant wipes to clean hard surfaces

 Sneeze into your sleeve and discard tissues after a single use and wash your hands again

 Look after yourself and get plenty of rest and proper nutrition

 ​Stay home if you are ill

Vaccination Facts

 Vaccines are safe. Seasonal flu vaccines are safe during pregnancy, for mothers that are breastfeeding, and vulnerable populations including Elders. 

 ​The flu is not a cold, it can progress into a very serious illness such as pneumonia.

 The flu and other vaccinations protect you, your family, and your community against serious communicable diseases.

 Vaccines are among the safest health interventions available. The most common side effect after receiving a flu vaccine is soreness at the spot where you received the injection.

 It is not possible to get the flu from a flu shot.

Speak to your Community Health Nurse for more information about the flu vaccine or check the FNHA's flu information web page.​

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