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Janitors more likely to catch the flu

A recent survey has shown that those in the cleaning industry are more likely to catch the flu than any other job.

November 29, 2012

SEATTLE — A recent survey has shown that those in the cleaning industry are more likely to catch the flu than any other workforce, according to KUOW-FM.

cleaning for preventionWhile it would seem as though healthcare workers and teachers are more likely to succumb to influenza, a new report published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE claims that janitors and other custodial professionals are more vulnerable to the virus, the article stated.

According to the article, Naomi Anderson, an epidemiologist with the state Department of Labor and Industries, who co-authored the study with the University of Washington, said, "The reason janitors are more prone to the flu is that they clean areas and objects that often harbor bacteria."

"They're cleaning up after us, disinfecting surfaces and touching things that are touched a lot like doorknobs and handling materials and other things that could be contaminated," Anderson concluded.

Sergio Salinas, president of the Service Employees International Union Local 6 (SEIU6), says his members have access to healthcare and are able to get flu shots, but part of the problem is that some janitors don't have the right chemicals and equipment or the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to do their jobs correctly, the article noted.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.