(Newswire.net -- February 12, 2013) London, UK -- Janitors and office cleaners know the importance of preparing for flu season and having cleaning strategies in place for the workplaces they are responsible for cleaning. With the flu season picking up, members of the cleaning profession want to make the general public aware of the need for thorough cleaning in homes as well.
While the flu vaccine is the first line of defence against this potentially dangerous virus, the next lines of defence this season are related to good hygiene. Businesses need to make their staff aware of the need for vigilant handwashing in order to minimise time off work during the busy lead up to Christmas. Handwashing should not only be confined to just washing after using the toilet. “Toilets actually tend to be cleaner than other places around the office and most people tend to know about washing hands after going to the loo,” said a representative from the London-based cleaning company Anyclean. “But you need to wash your hands and disinfect them before eating or drinking – or doing anything that involves touching your face”
The flu virus is spread via secretions from the mouth, nose and eyes, and these orifices are also the main places where the virus enters the body. After being transferred to a surface such as a tap, a computer keyboard, a steering wheel or a telephone, the virus can remain active and capable of infecting another person for several hours. “And people don’t realise how often they touch their faces,” said the Anyclean representative. “We’ve all got grubby habits like picking our noses and we know we ought not to do them. But even rubbing your eyes or covering your mouth when you yawn could be enough to give you the flu if you’ve touched a contaminated surface.”
Cleaning using a strong disinfectant is the third line of defence against the transmission of the flu. Even if these surfaces are not cleaned frequently as part of the regular cleaning schedule, they should be added to the daily tasks during the flu season. “Door handles, desks, keyboards, mobile phones – anything that a person might touch with fingers contaminated from contact with hands and mouth,” said the Anyclean representative, listing places that need to be given particular attention by office cleaning staff. “Phones are particularly prone to picking up the virus – you hold it right up to your face and breathe all over it when you talk on the phone, after all.”
Regular cleaning is important in office spaces but should also be given attention in the home, especially if there are small children or the elderly in the home, who are more vulnerable to the flu virus.
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