The colder months are peak season for influenza and norovirus, which can lead to cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Yuck! The CDC estimates that each year norovirus causes 19 to 21 million illnesses and some are serious, with up to71,000 hospitalizations each year and 800 deaths. A little scaremongering? Maybe BUT ISSA reports that in a clean facility, employee absenteeism is reduced by 46%..that’s almost HALF.
Norovirus presents a particular challenge to janitorial and building maintenance staff. A person can become infected with as a tiny amount of the viral particles. Somebody infected with norovirus can emit about a million of these particles through bouts of vomiting. There is not a vaccine for the norovirus, BUT a good cleaning regime can help.
- Post posters to remind employees to wash their hands. Most people don’t wash their hands correctly. It takes about 30 seconds of vigorous rubbing focusing on crevices between fingers, using hot water and soap to wash away clinging particles of the virus. Wash under nails, too. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is NOT effective.
- Sanitizing a surface will reduce 99.9% of bacteria but will not remove viruses. Disinfecting destroys bacteria and germs, but it is not designed to lift dirt off a surface. We recommend surfaces are cleaned first, then sanitized, then disinfected. to clean first, then sanitized, then disinfected.
The value of cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing will keep your staff healthier, and that’s good for your bottom line.