Severe Influenza Outbreak Continues in Kansas, 33 States

According to this week’s FluView report, flu activity remains elevated in the United States.  Influenza-like-illness levels remain above the national baseline, and there are now 33 states reporting widespread flu activity. CDC reports this season's vaccine is offering significant protection against circulating viruses this season. CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. 

SPECIAL HEALTH ADVISORY ISSUED

The CDC issued a health advisory in February warning of an outbreak of severe influenza and urging early antiviral treatment for those most at risk to respiratory infections. The predominant virus in recent weeks has continued to be the influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 variety, although A(H3N2) and B viruses are also being reported.

Severe respiratory symptoms have accompanied this outbreak with a portion of those infected being severely compromised. 

CLEANING FOR HEALTH

Facility management can contribute significantly to combating the spread of influenza by breaking the cross-contamination cycle. Although influenza is spread by droplets from sneezes, scientists believe it is also widely spread through hand contact of contaminated surfaces and later entry through a mucous membrane (such as eyes or nose) or ingestion when hands reach those portals of entry.

Recent technology breakthroughs are helping cleaning departments combat influenza by electrostatic, area application of disinfectants. PUR-O-ZONE has assembled information useful in updating custodial staffs, videos describing electrostatic disinfection techniques, and suggested general protocols for adoption while outbreaks are on-going.