FLU RESOURCE

UPDATE

What sort of flu season is expected this year?

Influenza is unpredictable. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from one season to another.

Will new flu viruses circulate this season?

Flu viruses are constantly changing so it’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year. More information about how flu viruses change is available.

A few things are new this season:

  • Flu vaccines are updated to better match viruses expected to be circulating in the United States.
  • All four of the vaccine viruses used to produce cell-grown flu vaccine will have been grown in cells, not eggs.

QUICK FACTS

• Approximately 8% of the US population becomes sick with the flu each year (9.3% children, 8.8% adults, 3.9 aged 65 and older)

• Most patients are contagious 3-4 days, but some can be contagious for 7 days.

• The exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase in October. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May.

PREVENTION

• Receive the vaccination every year

• The vaccination prevents against 3-4 strains that research suggests will be common.

• By the End Of October, for everyone 6 months and older, especially high risk people (children, pregnant women, over 65 years old.)

• Avoid close contact with sick people, if you’re sick, stay home.

• Wash your hands with soap and water.

• Clean and disinfect surfaces

CLEANING FOR LARGE BUILDINGS

The difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing: 

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

Harvard’s Best Practice:

Follow Harvard’s standard procedures for routine cleaning and disinfecting. Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, and phones. Some schools may also require daily disinfecting these items. Standard procedures often call for disinfecting specific areas of the building, like bathrooms.

Immediately clean surfaces and objects that are visibly soiled. If surfaces or objects are soiled with body fluids or blood, use gloves and other standard precautions to avoid coming into contact with the fluid. Remove the spill, and then clean and disinfect the surface.

Core Tenets of Flu Prevention Cleaning:

• Do routine cleaning and disinfecting
• Clean and disinfect correctly
• Use products safely
• Handle waste properly

If you or your family members get the flu

The eternal question is if the sickness is a cold or the flu. Generally, if the sickness is brought on abruptly and is accompanied with body aches, fever, or chills, if has a greater chance of being the flu.

Flu Symptoms:
• Abrupt fever, chills
• Cough
• Core throat
• Runny/stuffy nose
• Body aches
• Headaches
• Fatigue

Diagnosis:
It is impossible to tell for sure based on symptoms alone. A test is available. The most common is a rapid influenza diagnostic test (RIDTs). RIDTs work by detecting the part of the virus that stimulate an immune response. Still a physician may treat you for the flu without a test.

 

Treatment:
Your doctor can prescribe an anti-viral drug that can help.

Additional way to combat the virus:

    • Stay hydrated | increase your fluids
    • Get rest
    • Over-the-counter decongestants
    • Gargling warm saltwater.

It’s important to look out for emergency warning signs, especially for high risk people, such as children or the elderly. In those instances obtain medical care right away.

Want a One Page Print Out?

CONTACT US

3 + 5 =

Our cleaning service meets Green Seal™ Standard GS-42 based on waste minimization, building-specific operational procedures, effective custodial training, and use of products with limits on human & environmental toxicity. GreenSeal.org.
© 2020 Harvard Maintenance. All rights reserved.