The holiday season is filled with any number of things to look forward to, from festive lighting, to delicious meals, to vacation with family and friends. But there's one aspect of the holiday season that can totally derail all of these fun plans: the flu. For this reason, it's super important to stay on top of which places in your offices carry flu-related germs, so that you can take the necessary precautions and stay healthy all winter long.
Before your panic sets in, it's crucial to keep in mind all of the ways in which you won't get the flu. For example, you can't just contract the flu virus through skin-to-skin contact with another person. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu virus is mainly transmitted through bodily fluid droplets, via coughing, sneezing, or talking. Additionally, the flu virus only lives outside of the body for a number of hours, the CDC notes. So just because your sick co-worker high fives you, doesn't guarantee you're going to be under the weather (though you should definitely go wash your hands immediately).
It's also important to get a flu vaccination, regardless of how good you are at avoiding sniffly people. The approximate effectiveness of the flu vaccine in 2018 was 47%, according to the CDC. Even though the effectiveness is under 50%, it's still worth getting a shot, since the vaccine can drastically reduce the severity of your symptoms if you do end up getting the flu.
Still, even if you get the shot, it's always helpful to know where you should avoid during the holiday season. Here are some places in your office that are particularly germ-infested, and how you should deal with them throughout flu season: