As part of National Flu Prevention week, doctors with American Family Care are on a mission to help protect thousands of local office employees from getting the flu this season. They’ve created “Fight the Office Flu” kits that can be used by any business, no matter the size. The U.S. Department of Labor advises the best way to reduce the risk of flu this season is basic hygiene. AFC doctors are explaining to local businesses why that simple rule is more complicated than just washing your hands.
To assist in deploying flu prevention measures in the workplace, AFC has established a hotline specifically for employers interested in curtailing the spread of colds and flu in the weeks and months ahead. Employers seeking help may call (205) 271-5037 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time. While supplies last, AFC is also making available workplace readiness kits, which contain items essential to reducing the spread of the influenza virus. These kits include:
- Paper towels – Recent studies show 12 percent of surfaces that looked clean were heavily contaminated, mainly because sponges and cleaning cloths were full of bacteria from a previous wipe-up. Discarding sponges and using paper towels can help keep surfaces germ-free.
- Clorox Healthcare® Hydrogen Peroxide Disinfectant Spray – Especially during the cold and flu season, cleaning crews should use this spray to treat doorknobs, handles, light switches, phones, computer mousses, railings, elevator buttons and escalator rails. Viruses can live up to 48 hours on plastic and stainless steel surfaces.
- Hand sanitizer – Studies find that microbes can be transferred from workers’ hands to keyboards, phones and desks. This means that these surfaces may harbor 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat — because they’re rarely cleaned.
- Pens galore – Employees should have their own stockpile of pens they don’t share with colleagues. Pens carry a ton of germs that are easily transferred when shared.
- Hand sanitizer wipes – Employees should have a pack on their desks, whether to clean their hands or public surfaces.
- Flu Prevention Checklist – Lastly, in addition to the items contained the kit, AFC has also developed a flu prevention checklist for distribution to individual employees — so they can be more knowledgeable themselves.