It's cold and flu season!
And while seasonal influenza viruses are detected year-round in the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase in October. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May.
Local employers are scrambling to keep their offices flu free after more than 80,000 Americans died from flu-related illnesses in 2017. That's the highest death toll in more than 40 years. Unfortunately, many workers who come to work sick pass along germs at the office, which becomes a breeding ground for disease. Studies indicate the average adult brings their fingers to the nose, mouth or eyes about 16 times per hour. Germs thrive on human touch. The flu can cost the United States up to $167 billion per year in healthcare costs and lost productivity.
That’s why local cleaning pros with Stratus Building Solutions, the nation’s leading commercial cleaning and janitorial company, have created “Fight the Office Flu” kits to help businesses stay as flu-free as possible. This flu season, it's local cleaning experts are heading out to offices to drop off flu kits and help employees clean up Office Germ Hot Spots!
Top Office Germ Hot Spots:
Women’s offices contain more than 2x the germs as their male colleagues. Make-up cases, phones and purses have the most bacteria.
Doorknob or Handle - Use a paper towel to open and close the bathroom door (bathroom faucets too)
Elevator Button - Try not to touch the button, use a tissue or a piece of your clothing instead
Office Kitchen - microwave, refrigerator, vending machine, water cooler, sink sponges, food/food container handled by others
Another person’s keyboard or phone
Office materials - Copier machine, shared books, pens, staplers, etc.
Key Prevention Tips:
Cold/flu season typically runs from November to April
Prevention is key - Get a flu shot (October is an ideal time and studies show the morning is the best time to get one). Many offices provide flu-shots in-house.
If you feel run-down and sick, stay home from work! People are most contagious during the first 2-3 days of contracting a cold and about 5 days after being infected with the flu - even before symptoms develop.
Wash your hands with hot water for 20 seconds with soap, several times a day, especially following contact with the top office hot spots.
Avoid touching your face, eyes, or rubbing our noise.
Relax - stress can decrease immunity.
Flight the Flu Kits Include:
New pens to replace old, germ infested pens employees use each day
Cleaning wipes to help employees keep germs away between professional cleanings
Hand sanitizer to battle back against sharing germs when shaking hands, sharing documents, eating together at company lunches, etc.
Color-coded “green-clean” disinfectant sprays and microfiber cleaning wipes - highlighting the importance of hiring a commercial cleaning partner that uses different, color-coded sprays and wipes for each surface in the office. You don’t want to use the same spray/wipe in the kitchen and bathroom!