Disinfecting During Cold and Flu Season
In this article, industry manufacturers answer common questions asked by building service contractors.
Should building service contractors disinfect surfaces more often during cold and flu season?
Yes, you should disinfect more often in the cold and flu season as people’s cold, flu, pneumonia and strep-throat symptoms cause them to release more infectious mucus into the indoor environment than would otherwise be the case when people are well.
However, the most effective way to prevent the spread of disease is frequent washing of hands and the prevention of hands from entering the mouth.
— John B. Everitt, president, Stearns Packaging Corp., Madison, Wis.
First, the disinfectant in use should be effective against colds (rhinovirus) and flu (influenza). Many standard disinfectants do not kill rhinovirus. Then, the frequency of disinfection should consider number of people touching the surface. If a person sits at their desk all day, disinfecting their phone and computer keyboard more than once a day probably is not needed. If hundreds of people touch an elevator button or door handle, this could be disinfected up to hourly, depending on the perceived level of risk.
— Peter Teska, Americas portfolio lead for infection prevention, Diversey, Sturtevant, Wis.
Disinfecting more during cold and flu seasons is not necessary unless individuals in remote proximity to one another are sick with bacteria/virus. Then it is highly recommended to disinfect frequently.
— Robert Neitzel, director of operations, Big 3 Packaging, Philadelphia