How to Prevent the Flu with Disinfectants
Influenza (commonly referred to as the flu) is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus that infects the airways (nose, throat, and lungs) of humans. The flu is no laughing matter, as it has so far affected at least 25 million people during the 2022-2023 flu season, resulting in more than a quarter million hospitalizations in the United States alone. Read on to learn how to prevent the flu with disinfectants to ensure those in your home stay safe.
How to Prevent the Flu: The Basics
In North America, flu season starts in early October and lasts until April, though the dates aren’t set in stone.
Although the illness tends to be more severe with the very old and very young, as well as those with certain health issues, no one is immune from catching the flu. Flu symptoms can include:
- Fever and/or chills
- Sore throat
- Runny/stuffy nose
- Muscle and body aches (including headaches)
- Vomiting and diarrhea (typically in children)
Typically, the flu virus spreads by the droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or even talks. Carriers are generally contagious the first three or four days of their illness; however, in some cases, they are contagious before symptoms appear and for several days afterward.
Though direct contact with an infected person is a common way to catch it, flu can also spread through the germs on a surface.
Protecting Your Environment
There are various essential ways to protect your environment and those who pass through it. In addition to the obvious tactics of avoiding those who are sick, limiting contact with others if you’re sick, and covering your face when you sneeze, it is important to wash your hands with a high-quality soap, such as MicroGold® Waterless Hand Soap. It is also key to clean and disinfect any surface that multiple people come into contact with.
Cleaning vs. Disinfecting
It is important to note that cleaning and disinfecting are not the same. Cleaning refers to removing dirt and particles from a surface. For example, Granite Gold® Daily Cleaner Wipes can actively remove surface spills and soils. Conveniently packaged in a resealable pouch that holds 24 pre-moistened wipes, these can be easily stored in your drawer, bathroom, or any other high-traffic area where these germs can spread.
Keep in mind that simple cleaning doesn’t remove the viruses from a surface, though it’s an important step in disinfecting the surface. Using a disinfecting product designed specifically for the type of surface you’re working with is the best way to effectively disinfect a surface to prevent the further spread of flu.
MicroGold® Multi-Action Disinfectant Antimicrobial Spray, on the other hand, works as a disinfectant to eliminate viruses and bacteria. It also provides a surface-bonding antimicrobial to suppress the growth of microorganisms and can prevent bacteria growth. It can be used on hard, non-porous surfaces, including kitchens, bathrooms, toilets, doorknobs, remote controls, and sealed granite.
The Importance of Contact Time
When disinfecting surfaces, keep in mind the Two C’s Rule: cleaning and contact time. Cleaning and disinfecting consistently are key to stopping the spread of germs, particularly after people in your space have contracted colds, the flu or COVID.
Contact time, also known as dwell time, refers to the amount of time a disinfectant must remain wet on a surface in order to kill pathogens. Contact time will vary by the microorganism you’re trying to kill rather than by the product itself. If there is a contact time listed on your disinfectant, you must moisten the surface with it for that allotted period rather than spraying and immediately wiping it with a towel. Keep in mind that with standard disinfectants, once the surface is touched again, it is considered re-contaminated.
To make things even easier, use an all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant like MicroGold® All-Purpose Cleaner, which kills cold and flu viruses and cuts through tough grime.
Tips for Disinfecting High-Touch Surface Areas
It’s important to know that the flu virus can live on some surfaces for up to 48 hours (and sometimes longer). As a result, the routine cleaning of these surfaces is a vital step in stemming the spread of the virus.
High-touch areas in the home include:
- Doorknobs and handles
- Light switches
- Chair handles
- Sinks and faucet handles
- Common-area surfaces, such as kitchen counters
- Computer input devices (keyboard and mouse)
Cleaning products that contain chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents, iodophors (iodine-based antiseptics), and alcohols can effectively kill the flu virus on surfaces. However, these products are not formulated to disinfect certain surfaces, natural stone like granite in particular. They will break down the protective seal, and that puts the stone at risk of staining and etching. Further, these solutions will also dull the professional finish. So, using a product that is for the surfaces in your home is key.
Stop the Spread with The Granite Gold Company
Learning how to prevent the flu requires products designed to kill germs on surfaces that multiple people come in contact with daily. The Granite Gold Company protects you and your loved ones from contracting (and spreading) illnesses all year round.
Contact Granite Gold today to learn more about how our products protect and beautify your home, work and any other space you occupy.