Keeping clean hands clean with a documented surface cleanliness system.
H1N1 has moved quickly around the world earning the designation of pandemic. Clean hands are once again the primary protection as North America braces for outbreaks in schools and the many away-from-home environments.
An effective defense against H1N1 starts with an assessment of your facility and the people who use it. Everything learned in fighting norovirus applies although keeping ill employees off the premises is considerably easier than keeping ill customers away.
While H1N1 is a respiratory disease, studies and experience have shown that donning masks outside healthcare settings offers little protection against direct airborne transmission. The Society of Healthcare Epidemiologists, the Infectious Disease Society and the World Health Organization recommend precautions based on transmission by droplet infection rather than airborne infection. In other words, this virus is transmitted more from surfaces and hands than directly via the air.
Aside from keeping your distance, which isn’t always viable, what can you do to lower the risk of H1N1 transmission among your employees and customers?
As the H1N1 virus is contagious beginning 1 day prior to the onset of symptoms, the following precautions are imperative each and everyday, whether or not you see signs of illness: