Winter is Coming, We Promise. Flu Season is on the Way too.
Even though we’ve had a few weak cool fronts visit the Houston area, it’s still hard to feel like Winter is on its way. Yet according to the Farmer’s Almanac we’re in for a record-breaking cold Winter across the nation — and our area will be ‘Brisk and Wet’ — a perfect recipe for a miserable flu season ahead.
Be Prepared This Time. Get your Annual Flu Shot Today.
We have the latest flu shot in stock at the office. Get your flu shot appointment today and get extra protection and peace of mind for the upcoming season.
Not Sure of the Need for a Flu Shot? This Study May Convince You.
A study released this past week at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) demonstrated the speed that viruses spread around the workplace.
Researchers used samples of bacteriophage MS-2 to simulate the spread of human norovirus. (The MS-2 phage has similar characteristics to norovirus making it suitable for testing but unlike norovirus it doesn’t make human subjects violently ill.)
It turns out that when a just a couple of test samples were placed on either a door knob or a table surface, the MS-2 phage spread widely across an entire office in just two to four hours time. That’s fast!
Specifically, researchers found the sample virus had spread to between 40% and 60% of:
- people working in the facility
- commonly touched objects (light switches, telephones, tables, sink taps, etc.)
all within the first two to four hours!
Flu Shots and Good Hygiene: A Good Combination for Avoiding Getting Sick
Step One is to get a flu shot for increased protection against this season’s flu virus.
Step Two is to wash your hands throughout the day, and each time your use a co-workers keyboard or you visit the office break-room or kitchen mess. These are ‘hotspots’ for transferring organisms.
Step Three is to rethink how you clean. We urge you to avoid using regular kitchen sponges to wipe up spills and clean surfaces. Unfortunately sponges are very effective at spreading pathogens from one area to another.
Forget using sponges. Instead, consider switching to disposable wipes like paper towels, or, for even more protection, you might want to follow the advice of the researchers in the study. They recommend using Quaternary-based, EPA-approved disinfectants, particularly on commonly touched surfaces in a public environment.
What’s a Quaternary-based Disinfectant?
Many of the worst illness-causing bacteria and virus organisms have a negative surface charge on their outer membrane. Quaternary-based disinfectants (also known as Quats) have been formulated with positive-charge surfactants, making them especially attractive to the negatively-charged pathogens. (Think of the positive and negative poles of two magnets — they want to pull together thanks to their opposite magnetic fields).
As a result, the active ingredients of Quat disinfectants can attach themselves quickly to the surface of the pathogen organism’s outer membrane. Once they are in position, the disinfectant chemicals breaks down the cell walls, effectively destroying the virus or bacterium pathogen in just a matter of minutes.
If you are looking for products to clean your office or public spaces where many people gather, Clorox has a line of quaternary-based professional products for sanitizing healthcare facilities.