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.
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.