Outsourcing your facilities’ janitorial services and surface disinfection needs can offset the cost for schools and businesses confronting the challenge of the H3N2 virus.
Outsourced Janitorial Services to Address the H3N2 Virus
Recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show a widespread and growing instance of confirmed H3N2 Influenza cases throughout the United States, with the notable exception of Hawaii.
This is due, in large part, to the severity of the H3 virus strain, as well as the relative ineffectiveness of current vaccines against the H3 strain.
According to a recent article published by Time Health;
Different strains of influenza circulate each year.
This year, influenza A — specifically H3N2 — is especially prevalent, according to the CDC.
In years with predominantly H3 viruses, according to the CDC, the country tends to see more serious cases of the flu, especially in young children and elderly adults, as well as decreased vaccine effectiveness, resulting in more total infections and more hospitalizations.
H3 viruses were also behind the severe flu seasons in 2014-2015 and 2012-2013, according to the CDC.
The danger posed by the H3N2 virus to every demographic in the U.S. cannot be overemphasized.
According to a 2017 article published by The Washington Post;
The H3N2 strain tends to make for a more severe disease, particularly among older people and people with underlying illness.
But it can affect any child or adult and literally make them gravely ill within 48 hours, to the point where they have to be in the hospital, in intensive care.
This can and does happen.
Strategies for Addressing the Challenges of the H3N2 Virus in Schools and Businesses
There are three critical components to combatting the H3N2 virus that every school and business should employ.
- Cleaning & Disinfection
Cleaning & Disinfection
Influenza can remain resident and infectious on non-porous surfaces for approximately 24 hours.
Most schools and businesses clean during the evenings, which means that while the facility is occupied, occupants are spreading germs to the surfaces and to each other.
Implementing a green cleaning approach–non-toxic, environmentally safe cleaning products combined with microfiber technology–can significantly reduce the presence of the virus on high-contact surfaces.
EPA certified Category IV disinfectants have been shown to continuously combat germs and bacteria well after the initial application.
Facilities managers should also step up their cleaning and disinfection schedule to combat the increased pervasiveness of infectious disease in their buildings, especially bathrooms, classrooms, and anywhere food is prepared or consumed.
Even the most diligent of cleaning and disinfection schedules cannot eliminate all instances of germs and bacteria on non-porous surfaces.
Hand-to-mouth, eyes, and nose ingestion is one of the most common ways to transfer the infection from a surface into our bodies, often when eating.
To protect ourselves and those around us from germ transference, especially in between cleaning and disinfection cycles, it is absolutely mandatory that we practice good hand-hygiene with regular soap and water, especially before eating or coming into contact with someone that is infected.
Employing alcohol-based liquid hand sanitizer can also eliminate the presence of germs on our hands, significantly reducing the chances of ingestion and illness.
Facilities managers should make certain that liquid-foaming soap dispensers and paper towels are fully stocked in restrooms and dining areas, as well as provide sanitation stations throughout their regularly occupied spaces that include liquid hand sanitizer.
Recent studies have shown that influenza, as well as other viruses, are most prolific, not in droplets expelled from coughing or sneezing, but in microscopic aerosolized droplets from breathing or speaking.
Peak viral count in droplets typically occurs approximately 24 hours prior to the peak appearance of symptoms, so gauging our, or another’s, contagious status based on symptoms alone is ill-advised.
Given the enormous financial cost to schools and businesses, the taxpayer burden for healthcare expenses, as well as the preventable loss of life caused by the H3N2 virus spreading like wildfire, the best course of action for everyone involved is to implement a policy that requires students, teachers, and employees to stay at home when sick.
A demonstrably deadly strain of influenza, designated H3N2, has swept across the United States.
Cleaning and disinfecting, combined with the standard practice of covering one’s nose or mouth when sneezing or coughing is insufficient–isolation practices paired with a high-standard of hand-hygiene must be observed.
If you would like to learn more about how outsourcing your school or businesses janitorial services and surface disinfection needs can help offset the costly challenge of addressing the H3N2 virus–contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 437-3253
In Fresno CA, call (559) 206-1059
In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253