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Prevent The Norovirus Epidemic / Cold And Flu Season From Affecting Your Workplace

norovirus epidemicThe dreaded cold and flu season is soon approaching, and it will be that time of year when infectious pathogens such as the norovirus, run rampant causing epidemic levels of staff absenteeism for companies nationwide. The Health Protection Agency forecasts that 1.3 million people will be infected by the infamous stomach bug during the upcoming winter months. That is a 56% increase of infection when compared to last year, which if true will be quite a feat, when considering that last year’s season holds the record for the most cases of norovirus infections ever recorded.

As there is no vaccine for the norovirus and it’s impossible to develop immunity, the official advice from the HPA is the same as last year, which is to maintain good hygiene, this involves not just cleaning your hands after using the toilet and eating, but also ensuring external surfaces are sanitised with anti bacterial wipes.

These guidelines are equally applicable to public places and workplaces as they are in the home. It is essential that good hygiene is practiced in all sectors of society as to minimise the spread of the virus. The norovirus poses a serious threat to the workplace, as it causes a loss in productivity, widespread absenteeism and an overall loss in profits. It is obviously in the best interest of any company to minimise the spread of a contagious illness like norovirus.

Fortunately there are preventative measures that can be undertaken to counteract the norovirus, and stop it from infecting people in the workplace environment. The obvious preventative steps are too ensure that wash rooms are kept clean and hand sanitisers are always available, but it’s perhaps more important to ensure that regularly touched surfaces – such as computer keyboards and mice – are kept clean.

Although staff can be encouraged to practice good personal hygiene such as washing their hands after using the lavatory, expecting them to maintain the hygiene of workplace equipment such as mice, keyboards and telephones is unrealistic when considering that regular preventative cleaning is time consuming and their time has to be spent doing their job.

For this reason it is highly recommended that businesses utilising many computers, enlist the services of a preventative computer cleaning company to sanitise all workplace equipment such as keyboards, mice and telephones. Employing the services of a specialist preventative cleaning company to sanitise workplace equipment on a routine basis, not only ensures that equipment is kept free from infectious pathogens but relinquishes the burden upon company resources to do it themselves- freeing up time to actually get work done.

Computer equipment such as keyboards and mice are notorious incubators for microbial pathogens, often harbouring bacteria such as MRSA and E-Coli all year round, this situation is made even worse come the cold and flu season when the norovirus epidemic strikes. The relatively small cost of employing a preventative cleaning service, will lessen the degree at which your company suffers loss in work productivity and high rates of absenteeism, not only during the cold and flu season but all year round, potentially saving your company several thousands of pounds in profit per year.

Phillip Dumont

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