1. Proper handwashing is still the most effective way to stop the spread of germs, yet even doctors and nurses often fail to adequately wash their hands as frequently as they should. According to one study, average handwashing compliance of doctors and nurses is about 63 percent.*
2. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. These are effective, but should be viewed as an interim measure. They do not replace the effectiveness of proper handwashing.
3. Get your flu shot and if a vaccine is available for swine flu, get that one too.
4. Discard used tissues in toilets, not trash cans.
5. Keep your immune system strong: eat well, stay active, and get lots of sleep.
6. Do not share pens, mugs, and utensils.
7. Stay home from work if you’re sick and keep your children home from school if they are sick or have flu symptoms.
8. Make sure custodial workers regularly and hygienically clean desks, kitchen counters, door knobs and other surfaces, especially commonly and frequently touched surfaces. CIRI** reports that squeegee-based flat surface cleaning systems can eliminate more than 99 percent of all germs and bacteria on desk surfaces.
9. Restrooms are high risk environments, especially during an outbreak. They should be hygienically cleaned on a frequent basis including: fixtures, counters, door knobs, walls, and floors. Using spray-and-vac systems effectively removes soils and pathogens and protects workers from unhealthy contact with contaminated surfaces.
10. Stay alert. Read and listen to credible sources on how to stay healthy through this challenging period. None of us have to be another victim or swine flu statistic.
* Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences, April 26, 2007.
** Cleaning Industry Research Institute.