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DEAR ABBY: The recent letters you printed about transmitting colds prompts my own. Last year, I missed more than a week of work and was sick for almost a month. It was all because a few employees repeatedly came to work sick. My company lost many man-hours during a season when the whole crew was needed. All of it could have been prevented by practicing courtesy and common sense.

Some suggestions to help prevent the spread of colds and flu:

(1) Stay home when you're sick. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, rest, and drink plenty of fluids.

(2) If you can't afford to lose time, make sure to use a cough suppressant. A doctor or pharmacist can recommend the best one for you. A cough not covered can spread germs up to 15 feet away. When you must cough and cannot cover your mouth, bury your face in your arm -- or at least turn away from others.

(3) Use disposable tissues -- and use them only once. Deposit them in a proper receptable, preferably a lined one so someone else doesn't have to touch them.

(4) Wash your hands at the beginning of breaks and before returning to work to help minimize spreading your illness.

Remember, too, that even the "hale and hardy" can meet an early death if a cold or flu slips unnoticed into pneumonia. I know I wouldn't want it on my conscience that I might have spread the "bug" that killed someone. -- A FELLOW EMPLOYEE

DEAR FELLOW EMPLOYEE: Those are excellent suggestions. What you are promoting is consideration for others -- and that applies during every season, not just the flu season.

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