This flu season has been particularly brutal, with over twice as many deaths from flu-related illnesses as compared to the previous year—at a rate of about 100 lives per week1. Although young children, pregnant women, and seniors over 65 are most at risk2, everyone should take the proper precautions. Cleaning professionals come into contact with high-traffic areas while cleaning, and the flu virus can live for up to 24 to 48 hours on hard surfaces3.
This means, for the safety of themselves and their families, cleaning staff should take proper preventative measures. Here are some steps the CDC recommends4:
- Yearly flu vaccines protect against most viruses. Flu vaccines are designed to protect against the most common flu viruses in a given season.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, and immediately dispose of the tissue.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as this helps spread germs.
- Encourage other cleaning staff to stay home if they are sick.
- Be sure you're properly cleaning and disinfecting. Be sure to sanitize objects and areas that are touched frequently such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, and faucet handles.5
You can check out the CDC website for complete information and tips on how to prevent getting the flu, as well as steps to take should you have symptoms.
- Melore, C. (2018). Deadly Flu Season Claiming 100 Lives Per Week, CDC Warns. CBS Boston. Retrieved from: boston.cbslocal.com/2018/01/23/flu-season-deaths-cdc-warning/
- CDC. (n.d.). People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications. Retrieved from: www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm
- World Health Organization. (2010). Limiting Spread: Limiting the spread of pandemic, zoonotic, and seasonal epidemic influenza. Retrieved from: www.who.int/influenza/resources/research/research_agenda_influenza_stream_2_limiting_spread.pdf
- CDC. (n.d.). Preventative Steps. Retrieved from: www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/prevention.htm
- CDC. (n.d.). How to Clean and Disinfect Schools to Help Slow the Spread of Flue. Retrieved from: www.cdc.gov/flu/school/cleaning.htm