Cold and flu season is one of the biggest contributors to student absence in colleges and university’s, with many students becoming ill with either the cold or flu virus.
Although students are young adults, they don’t have the best track record for being clean and can easily spread viruses such as the Cold & Flu around campuses.
There are lines of defence that can slow or prevent viruses like cold and flu – such as students having vaccinations, staying home when they become ill, covering coughs or sneezes and wash hands often.
However, there are further measures that you can take to slow the spread of cold and Flu in colleges and universities.
Know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitising
Cleaning surfaces removes germs, dirt and impurities. Cleaning works by using soaps or detergents and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. However, this doesn’t necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their and number and the risk of spreading.
Disinfecting on surfaces kills germs. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. Although this process kills germs is does not clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing them on a surface after cleaning, it can lower the risk of spreading.
Sanitising lowers the number of germs to a safe level. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces to lower the risk of viruses spreading.
Clean and disinfect surfaces high touch areas often
In any college or university, there are multiple high touch areas that students come in contact with. These areas can be handles, handrails, keyboards, computer mice and vending machines. When cleaning and disinfecting follow your colleges or university’s standard procedures. Typically, this means daily sanitizing high touch areas. Standard procedures often call for disinfecting specific areas of colleges or universities such as toilets and dining areas.
If there are surfaces or objects that are dirty, immediately clean them. If surfaces or objects are dirtied with bodily fluids or blood, ensure that you use the correct cleaning procedures to avoid coming in contact with the fluid and the spread of dangerous viruses and diseases. When removed clean and disinfect the area.
Simply do routine cleaning and disinfecting
It is important to match your cleaning and disinfecting activities to the types of viruses that you want to remove or kill (i.e. the Cold and Flu virus). Most studies have shown that the flu virus can live and potentially infect 48hours after being deposited on a surface. However, when cleaning it is not necessary to close a college or university to clean and disinfect every surface that may harbour the cold and flu virus.
Although the Flu virus can be a hard-hitting virus keeping staff and students off for a week, it is a relatively fragile virus. So, standard cleaning and disinfecting can remove or kill the virus. Special cleaning and disinfecting procedures aren’t necessary and can irritate eyes, noses, throats and skin.
Clean and disinfect correctly
Although many see cleaning as a very simple job, it important that it is done correctly. When cleaning with cleaning products and disinfectants it important to follow label directions to avoid accidents.
To avoid damaging electronic equipment such as computers and telephones, using disinfectant wipes can help kill cold and flu viruses on high touch areas such as keyboards and computer mice.
A&R Cleaning Services has been providing professional cleaning services for 20 years and have experience cleaning further education facilities such as colleges and universities. We know the importance of students getting a good quality education and use industry products and equipment that can kill and prevent the spread of infections and viruses such as cold and flu.