The month of October marks the beginning of flu season, which hospitalizes up to 300,000 people each year in the United States. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates influenza season will be above average in the number of confirmed influenza A (H1N1) infections.
When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting, preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) is the top priority. Focusing on high-touch surfaces can help stop the spread of infection, and prevent HAIs.
Researchers conducted an 18-month study to determine what constitutes as high-touch surfaces in healthcare environments. The top five high-touch surfaces are:
Keeping our students and staff healthy can be tough when they are in school. Schools and universities are hot spots for germs, and germs spread quickly when people are in close contact with each other.
“Most infectious diseases are transmitted by direct contact, either by touching an infected person or by touching surfaces contaminated with pathogens,” says Charles Gerba, environmental microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona's Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science. "The crowded classrooms, cafeterias and gyms in schools can be a breeding ground for a variety of diseases including colds, influenza, norovirus and staph infections such as MSRA.”
Here’s what you need to know about the high-touch areas, and the steps you should take as a facility manager to protect your students.