Biz Times on Workplace Stress

Immune Systems

by Connie Roethle

DECEMBER 18, 2009

Workplace Stress can harm your employees

Most experts feel that the H1N1 influenza virus has peaked and flu activity is on the decline. But if you think your employees are no longer at risk for colds, flu and other seasonal illnesses think again. For one thing, the seasonal flu, a viral infection of the upper and lower respiratory tract that infects 10 percent to 20 percent of Americans each year, has not yet hit. The seasonal flu and other flu like illnesses cost employers millions of dollars annually in lost productivity and absenteeism.

Pandemic plans, vaccines and even strategically planned wellness programs all help in keeping employees healthy; but all of these efforts can be futile if the body’s No. 1 line of defense, the immune system, is compromised. The power of the immune system is greatly underestimated. Most people are under the mistaken impression that they have little control over affliction by germs, viruses and other illnesses. The fact is that what happens with our health is largely within our control.

Why does one person get the flu and not another? This question can best be answered through the following scenario.

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