Outsourcing your facilities’ janitorial services to counteract the production impact of influenza will help offset the cost of additional cleaning and disinfection schedules, which are necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.
Outsourced Janitorial Services Counteract the Production and Financial Impact of Influenza
Every year, influenza sweeps across the planet during flu season, leaving a devastating path in its wake–costing schools and businesses billions of dollars in time off and lost productivity, and leading to the deaths of thousands.
According to the latest research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, which details the yearly financial and human toll exacted by influenza;
[A]cute respiratory illnesses (ARI) are perhaps the most common health-related cause of absenteeism (ie, not attending work) and presenteeism (ie, task impairment while at work).
ARIs are known to cause about one-third of all sick days in working populations, and these costs far exceed the tens of billions of dollars in annual ARI-related medical care expenditures in the United States.
Influenza is a frequent cause of ARI and, depending on the severity of the season, results in an estimated 114,000 to 624,000 hospitalizations and 4900 to 27,000 deaths each year in the United States.
The Need for Isolation and Disinfection
The 2014-15 measles outbreak in Southern California is evidence that counting on vaccination as a preventative measure is insufficient in preventing the spread of viral infections.
This is further underscored by the relatively (app. 30% effectiveness) ineffective H3N2 vaccine, which has swept across the United States this year.
The challenge is two-fold.
Employees Come to Work Sick
Research into the matter has shown that most employers (9 out of 10) will tell employees to go home if they come in sick.
Aside from the fact that the sick employee likely contaminated every surface they encountered, only to be sent home, related research has indicated they will return to work too soon–with approximately 80% of workers returning within three days.
This is counterproductive for three reasons:
- Influenza symptoms last approximately seven days and the infected individual is contagious for at least that period of time.
- The employee is being paid a full wage to work in a diminished capacity, and;
- They are exposing everyone they come into contact with to a potentially deadly infection.
Alternatively, studies have shown that, in general, requiring an employee or student to remain isolated for a few days more decreases the financial impact of presenteeism enough to counterbalance the cost of the absenteeism, while significantly decreasing the spread of the virus, as well as the associated costs.
Cleaning Schedules Can’t Address Occupancy and Use
Various cleaning methodologies have varying degrees of efficacy when applied for the purposes of disinfection.
Unfortunately, conventional cleaning methods, even where diligence is observed, tend to lend towards surface cross-contamination, as well as lean towards the very toxic range of certified chemical disinfectants.
Additionally, conventional disinfectants such as bleach do not possess long-term residual efficacy against deadly germs.
What this means is, your organization has likely spread the virus from one surface to another, lathered your facility with toxic disinfectants that are dangerous to children and the environment, all to stave off the spread of a virus for as long as it takes someone to come back around and recontaminate it–probably not even that long, and you’re paying for it.
As an alternative, consider the following method:
- Clean all hard surfaces using the two-bucket technique, combined with microfiber, then;
- Disinfect all surfaces with Silver Dihydrogen Citrate–an EPA certified Category IV disinfectant– which has been shown to be effective at killing various germs and viruses for up to 24 hours.
Influenza has a profoundly negative impact on business, education, and society.
Studies have shown that isolation combined with modern disinfection practices can significantly decrease the financial burden of the illness on everyone while providing a substantial barrier to the spread of the virus.
Schools and businesses can no longer assume that people are vaccinated, that they maintain a high-standard of hand-hygiene, or that they won’t come to work contagious, even with a policy in place telling them to stay home.
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