Although most people associate flu season with winter, the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) weekly summary shows that there are verified (laboratory tested) cases of the flu even as early as the spring.
Regardless of when it comes, the flu makes people feel lousy. It also costs our economy billions of dollars and leads to death if not treated. Between 5% and 20% of Americans get the flu and miss 70 million workdays costing between $3 billion and $12 billion a year in lost production.
More seriously, the CDC reported that flu and pneumonia combined were the 8th leading cause of death in the U.S. A startling 55, 227 people died from influenza and pneumonia in 2014, or an average of 151 people a day! Yet, the flu is preventable.
How to fight the flu (and other diseases):
While the flu is a virus, the transmission of bacterial infections is also controlled by proper hygiene. Proper hygiene whether in a controlled environment (like a hospital) or public setting (shopping mall) starts with:
• Good personal habits
• Proper cleaning techniques
• High-quality cleaning products
Good personal habits include: getting a flu vaccine; washing hands with soap (hand wipes are a second choice); using a towel on “hard touch surfaces” such as door handles and faucets in public places; using hands-free dispensers, hand driers, etc. wherever possible; covering your nose/mouth when coughing or sneezing; and staying home when sick.
Proper cleaning techniques involves: physically wiping to agitate the germs and eliminate the microorganisms; cleaning thoroughly before disinfecting—simply spraying a chemical isn’t as effective as properly wiping and then spraying; and correct disposal of soiled rags.
Washing hands adequately means scrubbing with soap and water without rings on hands for a minimum of 15 seconds and then drying thoroughly. Use of the towel to turn off the faucet and to open the door to the room before exiting avoids re-contamination.
High quality cleaning products mean: well-researched and tested solutions that are used routinely and consistently by trained staff.
Spartan Chemical, a recognized leader in the formulation and manufacture of sustainable cleaning and sanitation solutions, offers a complete line of infection control products as well as the systems and training programs to ensure that routines are followed—and followed correctly. The CompuClean® software program sets the routine at the level and frequency required by the facility/environment. The company’s CleanCheck® Web and DVD Training System encompasses bilingual (Spanish/English) instructional videos that are supported by training manuals, reference cards and brochures with full cover images to ensure understanding. Employees take tests to receive certifications of learning.
An ounce of prevention.
Fighting the flu is an important economic consideration for the country. But more significantly, fighting the flu saves lives. Anti-virus medications, while helpful, are “too late,” which is why prevention is the best path. That means using the right products in the right way to promote good hygiene habits. In the end, saving lives by fighting flu is the right thing to do.
About the Author:
Jason Welch is a microbiologist in his 20th year at Spartan Chemical. He is a product developer/formulator (and avid guitar player) who also likes to educate Spartan distributors on disease prevention so they can train their customers for a healthier America.