By: Renae Skinner
COLORADO SPRINGS — Get ready to pass around the hand sanitizer as the flu season ramps up, especially in the workplace where it can become ground zero for germs.
When someone comes to work sick, about half of the commonly used surfaces in your cubicle or office will become infected with the virus by the time you get ready to take a lunch break, according to a new study.
According to the El Paso County Health Department, flu numbers are in line with other counties with 108 cases so far.
Haley Zachary, an official with the El Paso County Health Department, said the reason it seems worse this year is because numbers are up across the country.
Zachary said the health department is seeing a lot of Influenza "B," which is usually more prevalent toward the end of the flu season but we might see another spike.
"What we typically see this time of year is Influenza ''A'' starting to peak. Right now we're seeing a high level of Influenza ''B'' and Influenza ''A'' is starting to circulate," Zachary said.
The flu causes about $7 billion a year in sick days and 17 million workdays lost.
A new study done by Stratus Building Solutions, a cleaning company for office spaces, names the top germ "hot spots" in offices.
Topping the list? Doorknobs, elevator buttons, microwaves, fridges, copier and vending machines, and coffee stations.
The CDC recommends encouraging all employees at the office to get a flu shot and if you're sick, stay home.