MIAMI—Flu activity is high across most of the United States according to CDC’s latest FluView report. But you could cut down your risk of catching the flu if you work from a virtual office.

“Reports of influenza-like-illness are nearing what have been peak levels during moderately severe seasons,” according to Dr. Joe Bresee. CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination and antiviral treatment when appropriate at this time.

Influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reportable to CDC since the 2004-2005 season. To date, CDC has received reports of 18 pediatric deaths this season.

“While we can’t say for certain how severe this season will be, we can say that a lot of people are getting sick with influenza and we are getting reports of severe illness and hospitalizations,” says Bresee, who is Chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch in CDC’s Influenza Division.

Twenty-nine states and New York City are now reporting high levels of influenza-like-illness and another nine states are reporting moderate levels of flu-like illnesses. Ten states are still reporting low or minimal flu-like illnesses. These are California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

When you work from a virtual office you are not altogether immune to the flu, but you can reduce your risk from catching it from your coworkers since you aren’t interfacing with them directly. By telecommuting from a virtual office you dramatically reduce the chances of catching the flu virus while also heightening productivity. If you aren't already allowing employees to telecommute from a virtual office, now may be time to launch an experiment as many companies begin to feel the pinch of sick workers.