Advertisement

Claiming Victory At The End Of The Flu Season

Steadfast cleaning and disinfection can help you come out on top when battling formidable foes like the influenza virus.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this year’s flu season has become the worst the U.S. has seen in a decade, with levels tipping to epidemic proportions in several states.

Studies show that the flu costs businesses approximately $7 billion per year due to the nearly 111 million lost work days.

And, it’s not just the flu: Norovirus cases are also on the rise this season, and the CDC reports that foodborne norovirus illness accounts for $2 billion in lost productivity and healthcare costs each year.

This means that cleaning professionals who work in office buildings, hotels and other public places need to take precautions to help control the spread of the influenza virus, norovirus and other pathogens in their facilities.

To help prevent the spread of the flu, norovirus and other wintertime ailments, there are the following four tips:

1. Choose the right products

Studies show influenza viruses can survive on surfaces for up to eight hours, so it is important to use products that are effective against them.

Cleaning with soaps or detergents and water physically removes germs, but it does not kill them.

Disinfecting, on the other hand, works by using chemicals to kill or otherwise deactivate germs on surfaces and objects.

According to the CDC, several types of disinfectants are effective against the flu, including chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, quaternary ammonium-based cleaners and other registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

No matter which product you use, it is important to always read the product label to ensure that it is EPA-registered to kill the influenza A virus and norovirus.

2. Disinfect high-touch surfaces often

Objects and surfaces that are frequently touched — such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, keyboards, faucets and phones — need to be disinfected at least once a day.

Specific germ-prone areas like restrooms should also be given more attention and may require more frequent disinfection.

3. Clean and disinfect regularly

The flu and norovirus can spread when people touch infected surfaces and then touch their eyes, mouth or nose.

The influenza virus is fairly easy to kill when using the appropriate disinfectants as part of the cleaning and disinfecting process.

Norovirus, however, is tougher to kill, as very few particles can cause infections and it is highly contagious.

To help ensure efficacy, always remove visible soils from surfaces, followed by targeted disinfecting.

One-step, ready-to-use (RTU) disinfecting products with hydrogen peroxide formulations are available in sprays and wipes and are safe to use on most hard, nonporous surfaces.

Some of these product options can kill the influenza A virus in 30 seconds, but be sure to read the label of any product before using it.

Such products with specific third-party validated kill claims are also effective against norovirus.

Some sprays kill norovirus in one minute and certain wipes kill it in three minutes, but it is important to read the product label to ensure it is EPA-registered to specifically kill norovirus.

4. Educate cleaning staffs and other employees

The CDC recommends that businesses encourage employees to get a seasonal flu vaccine and discourage sick employees from coming to work.

In addition, instruct employees to wash their hands regularly with soap and water, especially after emptying waste baskets, touching used tissues or using the restroom.

For more information about flu and norovirus prevention tips and product solutions, visit www.CloroxProfessional.com.

Posted On March 3, 2013

Kim LaFreniere Ph.D.

Associate Research Fellow for the Clorox Professional Products Company

Kim LaFreniere, Ph.D., is an associate research fellow for the Clorox Professional Products Company. For more information about healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevention, including educational resources and product information, visit www.CloroxHealthcare.com.

Topics Tags

Also in Infection Control

Cross-Contamination
June 30, 2020 Craig Sykora

How to Prevent Cross-Contamination

June 23, 2020 Eric Bates

Using UV Systems to Combat HAIs

June 12, 2020 Michael Catanzaro

Infection Prevention: EVS Leads the Way With Interdisciplinary Teamwork

June 9, 2020 Peter Teska

Perfecting the Electrostatic Cleaning Process

Sponsored in Infection Control

ElectroChemically Activated Cleaning and Disinfecting Solutions
April 6, 2017 Sponsored by PathoSans

ElectroChemically Activated Cleaning and Disinfecting Solutions

December 1, 2016 Sponsored by PathoSans

PathoSans® PS30 ElectroChemically Activated Solution System

September 1, 2016 Sponsored by Kutol Products Co.

Multi-color Kids Dispensers and Kid-friendly Soaps

September 1, 2016 Sponsored by PathoSans

PathoSans® PS30 ElectroChemically Activated Solution System

Recent News

Keeping Casinos Clean Amid an Epidemic
July 7, 2020 CMM Daily News

Keeping Casinos Clean Amid an Epidemic

July 7, 2020 CMM Daily News

Cleaning Robot Assisting in Facility Reopenings

July 7, 2020 CMM Daily News

Coronavirus Continues to Complicate Child Care

July 7, 2020 CMM Daily News

Coronavirus Government Response Update—President Trump Signs PPP Extension

Claiming Victory At The End Of The Flu Season
Share Article
Subscribe to CMM