Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Seasonal Influenza: The Flu

As the cold weather sets in for us in Northwest Pennsylvania, a hot topic year after year is Seasonal Influenza. If you are unfamiliar with the term, chances are you know it as the flu. Every year it seems there is always that one kid, or coworker that returns to school or work early from the flu (or doesn't even take time off). Thanks to this workaholic, we now have an  elevated level of germs in the area that may be carrying the influenza virus. Below, I'll give you some tips and tricks for dodging the flu this winter and staying healthy so you can enjoy the holidays.

1. It is not just a "2 or 3 day bug."

Typically, healthy adults are able to infect others 1 day before symptoms show and up to 5-7 days after they fall ill. So do your friends, coworkers, fellow students, and the general public a service by staying in a few extra days. Just think of all the episodes of your favorite tv show you'll be able to catch up on.

2. Door knobs are dirty, but...

Below are the results of a survey published in a recent CleanLink News article about work place cleanliness.

• 51 percent of employees only clean their desks once a week or less, even though germs can live on surfaces for up to three days, especially on the keyboard – typically one of the dirtiest personal workspace items.
• 25 percent believe that door knobs/handles are the dirtiest places in the office, while only 6 percent recognize that the break room sink is actually the dirtiest, followed by the office microwave, which only 8 percent selected.

3. Wash your hands

Just like Mom used to tell you after coming in from playing outside in the mud. This critical step goes a long way in preventing the spread of the flu to you, as long as you do it regularly and frequently. Be sure to use an antibacterial hand soap and a clean, dry, disposable towel to dry your hands (a damp towel is a wonderful place to harbor germs, so why dry your hands with one?). 

4. Don't touch that!

After coming in to contact with a surface or object that could be a high risk for harboring the influenza virus, do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth until you have washed your hands. Touching your face after resting your hand on the desk your coworker (who took yesterday off because he or she had the flu) just sneezed on is a great way to pick up the flu.

Now there was a lot of information there and believe me, I am not trying to turn you in to a germaphobe. I would just suggest you lend a more cautious eye to your everyday interactions this winter to help avoid falling ill to the flu. Once again, thanks for reading and i'll see you all out there with your white gloves, surgical masks, and gallons of hand sanitizer! (I'm kidding...that might make you a germaphobe).

Until next time,

ServiceMaster by Bell, Inc. 
877-214-1664   814-764-3232

Monday, November 19, 2012

Well, today threw a curve ball my way. Due to some issues with the vehicle fleet, i will be unabe to publish the article on flu prevention as i had planned for today. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some peace at the office to allow me to get writing.