By the second week in January 2013, the U.S. was experiencing a particularly nasty flu season.
Virtually all states reported high levels of “influenza-like illnesses,” and the proportion of people visiting physicians because of flu-like symptoms had climbed to nearly six percent — usually, only about 2.2 percent of all doctor visits are because of flu-like symptoms.
At the same time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the number of people who do not get a flu shot every year appears to be on the upswing.
Right now, it is estimated that less than half of the U.S. population receives a flu shot every year.
There are a number of reasons for this, including some major misconceptions about the flu.
The following is designed to separate the myths from the facts and showcase how, with the proper tools and procedures in place, JanSan professionals in all types of facilities can help keep everyone healthier.
The first flu myth: “Only young children and the elderly are at risk of developing serious complications from the flu; for everyone else, it’s just a bad cold.”
Flu fact number one: The CDC reports that the people most at risk are pregnant women and people with asthma, emphysema or other chronic lung problems.
However, people of all ages — healthy, not so healthy and everything in between — can become seriously ill from the flu.
The influenza virus can actually be deadly; in fact, between 5,000 and 20,000 people from all walks of life die in the U.S. from flu-associated illnesses each year.
Illness From Inoculation
The second flu myth: “Getting a flu shot may actually give you the flu.”
Flu fact number two: The flu vaccines used in the U.S. have no live viruses in them.
While rarely someone may have a reaction to a flu shot, there is no evidence that you can get the flu from the flu shot.
The last time there were widespread problems as a result of a flu vaccine was in 1976, and these affected only a small number of people.
The third flu myth: “I never get the flu; I don’t need a flu shot.”
Flu fact number three: Many people do get the flu and don’t realize it because they do not get very sick, which can actually be a problem for other people.
Because they do not get sick, they go to work or to school, often spreading the virus to others, and these other people may get very sick.
Infection Control’s Importance
The fourth flu myth: “Cleaning can do little to stop the influenza virus from spreading.”
Flu fact number four: In 2008, about 15 percent of the children attending schools in the St. Louis area were home with the flu at any one time from November of that year to April of 2009.
However, in one school district, only five of the children were absent because of the flu.
A closer examination found that this district, the Rockwood School District, had recently transferred from conventional cleaning — using sprayers, cleaning cloths, mops and buckets — to touch-free cleaning using the No-Touch Cleaning® system developed by Kaivac.
According to Doug Coleman, coordinator of custodial services for Rockwood, “The below-average illness rate is no coincidence. More effective, thorough and hygienic cleaning is what has helped keep our students healthy and in school.”
This content was provided by Kaivac Inc. as part of a apid advertisement. For more information, please contact Kaivac directly at (800) 287-1136 or www.Kaivac.com.