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Coronaviruses And The Workplace

Coronaviruses And The Workplace

Coronaviruses are fairly common and don’t typically affect humans. When they do, their effects are usually mild, as in the case of the common cold. As of now, only seven different coronaviruses are known to infect humans. In their lifetime, most people will be infected with at least one common human coronavirus.

Deadly variations of these coronaviruses have cropped up in recent years. Two examples of these evolved strains are the SARS virus of 2003 and the novel coronavirus, which was first seen in 2019. In both instances, the viruses ravaged the populations they infected, illustrating why employers must stay alert to developing outbreaks.

It’s the responsibility of every employer to protect employees from these and other illnesses in the workplace. Taking even small precautions could save an organization countless hours of lost productivity.

If you have been displaced from your job due to fears over the current strain (COVID-19)  of coronavirus or if you have workers absent due to illness or as a precautionary measure, do not hesitate to contact us. We can find you employment or provide temporary staff to fill short term positions.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Common coronaviruses typically cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illness, and those affected exhibit cold-like symptoms. The most common symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath

Some cases of coronavirus can be more severe, and individuals experience more serious lower-respiratory tract illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia. For the elderly, infants and those with weakened immune systems, coronavirus can be even more dangerous.

How is coronavirus diagnosed?

If you’re exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, you should call your doctor, especially if you’re experiencing symptoms and have traveled to countries where outbreaks have been reported. Your doctor will likely order a lab test to detect coronavirus. Be sure to disclose any recent travel to your doctor.

Coronavirus can live in the air for several hours and on some surfaces for as long as two to three days, tests by U.S. government and other scientists have found.

Deadly outbreaks of coronavirus

The 2019 novel coronavirus, as well as two other human coronaviruses, have caused severe symptoms, with some cases leading to deaths. In 2012, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak caused severe illness—nearly 4 out of 10 people infected died. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which was first reported in Asia in 2003, spread to two dozen countries, infected 8,098 people and caused 774 deaths before it was contained.Coronaviruses And The Workplace Strain

Precautions for the Workplace

Employers should protect against coronaviruses much like they protect against the flu: Offer on-site flu shots, stock cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer, and educate employees on prevention methods.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals should take the following precautions to avoid person-to-person spreading of a coronavirus:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid contact with those who are sick
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water

Unfortunately, there is no known vaccine for a human-contracted coronavirus, making precaution that much more critical.

More information on coronavirus (COVID-19) is available here:

World Health Organization: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov

Another useful resource to reference during the current COVID-19 pandemic is this guide about guarding mental health.

Job Loss? Workforce Shortages?

If you have been displaced from your job due to fears over the current strain (COVID-19)  of coronavirus or if you have workers absent due to illness or as a precautionary measure, do not hesitate to contact us. We can find you employment or provide temporary staff to fill short term positions.

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