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Whatcha Gonna Do? Bad Bugs and Three Things You Can Do Right Now To Stop Them

Cartoon image of the flu.
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As a biohazard cleaning company, Aftermath cares about your health. This is why we’ve adopted February as Biohazard Awareness Month. This week, we’re examining the viruses and bacteria that lurk in body fluids, what we call biohazards, and how these bugs can contribute to serious disease and illnesses.

The influenza virus, commonly known as “the flu,” has been a topic of serious discussion this year due to its virulence. Many cases have been reported where people have been sickened multiple times; others have suffered for weeks, and many were hospitalized.

As you may already realize, the cold and flu are very different. Though they are both caused by viral infections of the respiratory tract, the flu is caused by influenza A or B viruses. Flu appears most frequently in winter and early spring and attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract. Though often it feels like flu season is an inevitable part of the year, there are some steps you can take to lessen its impact on your family. We’ve broken some of the basics down into three main points so they’re simple to implement. 

Be Aware and Prepare

Probably the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to avoid places where you are likely to come into contact with the virus and take extra precaution when in those spaces. Daycares facilities, schools, and other places where children are present are often the biggest factor in the spread of the flu, but it’s also common in crowded places where people are close to each other.

Churches, theaters, and recreational events are some of the things that keep us connected to our community. Avoiding them all is impossible and frankly undesirable. However, we can limit our exposure to bad bugs during flu outbreaks by making wiser choices about our health. Eating well, sleeping well, and taking a short time to destress can help improve our immunity, even in situations where those closest to us are sick.

What You Can Do: If you’re suffering from a weakened immune system, consider working out at home instead of going to the gym, and avoiding the mall or airplane travel during peak flu season. Pay attention to your health and diet and be sure to boost your immune system.

If you must help care for someone who is ill, doctors advise the use of face masks to limit breathing in the virus. Masks can be up to 80% effective when used properly. Finally, be sure to disinfect surfaces regularly throughout an outbreak, deep clean all laundry (especially towels and bedding) and follow up with a deep cleaning after the illness has passed. Here are some great tips on what to clean following an outbreak of the flu in your home.

Don’t Touch!

Some of the filthiest things in our environment are things we come into contact with every day. Computer keyboards, cell phones, bathroom towels, door handles, and shopping carts are some of the biggest germ factories. According to an article in Time Magazine, studies have found that one in six phones is contaminated with fecal matter, even though a simple swab with a disinfectant wipe is enough to clear away that icky residue. 

What You Can Do: Because it’s impossible to avoid contact with germs in the environment, avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth, which are the pathways for diseases looking to enter the body. Wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing, but also before touching food, after using the bathroom or handling anything that has been handled by others, who might be ill. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer. 

STop the spread

The most difficult part about the flu is that you can be contagious and asymptomatic, meaning that you will not exhibit signs of illness until it’s too late. Remember that foods like Emergen-C, apples, tea, and orange juice that can help lessen the severity of sickness. The sooner you can start taking steps toward boosting your immune system, the sooner you will recover. Also, even if you have been sick once, you can still get sick again. Viruses mutate, which allow them to reinfect you after you’ve built up an immunity to one strain.

What You Can Do: If you suspect you are sick, do your friends and co-workers a favor and use up those sick days. If you have to work, let co-workers know to keep their distance and limit your interactions as much as possible. When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, and maintain a 6 foot distance from others to reduce possible spread.

Finally, no matter how late in the season, flu shots are a great preventative measure. They are by no means 100% effective, but they can help you dodge certain strains of the flu or lessen the duration of an illness should you get sick. Still on the fence about flu shots? Read this article, which debunks many of the myths associated with this important vaccine.

Aftermath Cares About Your Health

Remember that the most common signs of influenza are high fever, severe body aches, headache, tiredness, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting and/or diarrhea. If you have trouble breathing, racing heart, pain, confusion, or an inability to keep fluids or food down for extended periods of time, the situation could be serious and the Red Cross advises that you seek immediate medical care.

As a biohazard cleaning company, Aftermath technicians are dedicated to helping families recover from all types of biohazard situations, including outbreaks of contagious illness. If you feel like you can’t get on top of the situation and defeat the flu virus in your home or place of business, consider giving the professionals a call. We’ll help you give your home or office a fresh start to a healthier year.

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"Zach was compassionate, professional, caring and easy to work with, yet clear with what he needed to do and conscious of safety. His crew were equally caring and professional."

Peggy H. - Chicago, IL

"Aftermath was very professional and completed the work in a timely and efficient manner. I would recommend them to future clients because of my experience with the professional work done during this stressful time. Good job, Jennifer. "

Michael G. - Boulder, CO

"Aftermath team made a very hard event much easier. Without them, I do not know how I would have made it through this. Corry went above and beyond my expectations. She was much more than the lead and for that I am more than thankful."

Christopher R. - Tallahassee, FL

"My father passed away and was left unattended for a few days with His two dogs in the house. We called aftermath on a recommendation from the local police department. John and his team were so helpful, thoughtful and professional throughout this difficult process. They even helped us load my father’s Harley into our trailer because we didn’t have a ramp. John stood with us while his team worked and let us reminisce about our father with him. The team went through everything in the house and saved everything that they could for us. During this incredibly difficult time for us, they put our minds at ease knowing that they would take care of cleaning the house completely and thoroughly. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, john and team. "

Jessica S. - Tennessee

"Jason and Ryan went above and beyond any expectations in my time of grief. They are professional, courteous and experts in their field of work. They performed all work quickly and professionally. I would highly recommend this company and these men to anyone. "

Erin R. - Ashville, NC

"Aftermath was very professional and was able to accommodate the urgency in the situation. They explained the services and was able to relieve my worries as they dealt with the insurance company. Other companies were unable to take the job or handle the job with efficiency to get the ball moving. Since I was needing the job done in a small window of time."

Latoya G. - Sacramento, CA

"The service, communication, and level of professionalism from Alex and Greg was amazing. They made an extremely difficult time bearable and easy to navigate. They took on having to figure out all the logistics and allowed me to focus on other priorities without having to worry about what they were doing. "

Zachary F. - East Stroudsburg, PA

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