Why is the flu so bad this year
Plus tips for flu prevention
The 2018 flu season has been the worst in years, with rapidly increasing contractions and higher reports of hospitalizations. Why? This year’s most dominant strain is H3N2 – a more severe form of the virus. Most people have limited exposure to this less common strain, with fewer opportunities to build immunity. This year’s vaccination is also less effective on H3N2, creating a perfect storm. And the current flu season is “still on the rise,” according to the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). So protect your team with these following tips below.
The flu virus remains active on surfaces up to 48 hours, so regular cleaning is more essential than ever. Cleaning products with hydrogen peroxide and detergents kill the virus. However, shared spaces will need advanced cleaning methods this season. Electrostatic spraying systems are a popular option for quick and effective disinfection. The spray allows access to areas that are difficult to reach. The machine also adds a positive charge to the disinfectant spray, which allows the solution to cling to surfaces for truly uniform coverage. The flu virus is then killed with two minutes of contact time.
Yes, you should still get the flu shot. It’s not too late. Though this year’s vaccination didn’t perfectly match the season’s most aggressive viral strain, it’s still the most effective prevention measure. Getting the shot also greatly reduces the severity of the illness. Continued exposure is also far from over, as experts expect the flu season to continue into March. Consider offering flu shots at your facility, or provide directions to nearby providers. Find locations offering flu vaccinations near you at vaccinefinder.org.
Your kindergarten teacher was always right. To keep safe this flu season, wash your hands as much as you can, especially before you eat or make food for other people, and after you use the restroom. How you wash your hands also makes all the difference. Be sure to lather with soap and water thoroughly for 20 seconds (or for two rounds of the “Happy Birthday” song), and dry thoroughly. Handle faucets and door knobs with paper towels to limit cross-contamination.