By Kevin Wilson
By Kevin Wilson
It’s often said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Though the math may be different, it’s a philosophy that emerges every year about this time. It’s the flu season, and businesses are forced to prepare, whether it’s one that helps sick people recover or takes extra steps to keep employees healthy and save itself on productivity in the big picture.
Becky Reed has 29 years under her belt as a pharmacist, including the last three years as one of two staff pharmacists at Roden-Smith in Clovis. She said it’s simply a matter of ordering enough medications.
“We basically try to have on hand the medications we’re fairly certain are going to take care of the (symptoms). It’s not that we really prepare for it. As the demand furthers, (it reduces our stock).”
The most popular medications, Reed said, are Phenergan (nausea) and Pedialyte — a fluid replacement medication Reed said is just as good for adults as f or children.
Overall, though, it may be cheaper to have a glass of orange juice or take a vitamin pill. Reed said good vitamins and a proper diet will keep the body from compensating and leaving itself vulnerable to sickness.
“In the long run, your good multivitamins will save you the money, and the flu shots too,” Reed said.
Flu shots also save companies money. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine said on average one employee taking a sick day costs a business $200 in productivity.
Just two years after a much-publicized shortage, flu vaccine doses are expected to be at an all-time high this year with 77 million already distributed nationwide.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has declared next week as National Influenza Vaccination Week. Evidence, however, shows that people are ahead of the curve.
Presbyterian Healthcare has between 5,000 and 10,000 doses remaining out of its original 50,000, spokesman Todd Sandman said. Presbyterian has eight facilities throughout New Mexico, including Trigg Memorial Hospital in Tucumcari.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Tips for avoiding cold and flu viruses
Wash your hands: Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. Someone who has the flu sneezes onto their hand, and then touches the telephone, the keyboard, a kitchen glass. The germs can live for hours — in some cases weeks — only to be picked up by the next person who touches the same object.
Don’t touch your face: Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose or mouth. Touching their faces is the major way children catch colds, and a key way they pass colds on to their parents.
Drink plenty of fluids: Water flushes your system, washing out the poisons as it rehydrates you. A typical, healthy adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids each day. How can you tell if you’re getting enough liquid? If the color of your urine runs close to clear, you’re getting enough. If it’s deep yellow, you need more fluids.
Get fresh air: A regular dose of fresh air is important, especially in cold weather when central heating dries you out and makes your body more vulnerable to cold and flu viruses. Also, during cold weather more people stay indoors, which means more germs are circulating in crowded, dry rooms.
Exercise regularly: Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of blood; makes you breathe faster to help transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood; and makes you sweat once your body heats up. These exercises help increase the body’s natural virus-killing cells.
Cut alcohol consumption: Heavy alcohol use destroys the liver, the body’s primary filtering system, which means that germs of all kinds won’t leave your body as fast.