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Businesses take precautions against spread of flu

8:33 AM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
USA TODAY
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MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Businesses in New Hampshire are doing what they can to slow the spread of this year's early and aggressive flu virus.

Several businesses said they have put safeguards in place to help their employees and customers avoid catching the flu. Health officials warned that the flu season started early this year, and it has been more widespread and dangerous than usual.

MORE: First for You: Flu facts and tips

The Planet Fitness on Huse Road in Manchester is taking precautions to protect the 1,200 to 1,500 people who use the gym each day.

"We are always cleaning multiple times a day, and we encourage members to take proper precautions, such as using hand sanitizers on their way out and cleaning their own equipment before using it for their own protection," said manager Christen Henderson.

St. Mary's Bank is foregoing handshakes, an easy way to spread illness.

"We allow the members of our staff or the member to say, 'I really prefer not to shake hands at this time due to flu,'" said Leo Simard, director of retail banking. "We are trying to protect your health."

MORE: Death toll climbs, misery mounts as flu sweeps the nation

Handling cash can also spread germs, so hand sanitizer is available throughout the bank. It's the same at Chill Day Spa on Hanover Street, where workers have fared well, but customers have called out sick.

"There have been a lot of last-minute cancellations for people who have children staying out of school or clients who are waking up and feeling the symptoms coming on, so they call and we understand," said Coco Lever of Chill Day Spa.

There has been no shortage of customers at the Walgreens on Manchester's West Side. Pharmacist Sean Buckley said that people of all ages are coming in for flu shots.

"Usually, the flu vaccines are starting to slow down, but with the new (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) report saying it's widespread, it's coming back a little more," Buckley said.

WMUR

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