Flu season is here, and it’s often marked by the offers of free flu shots in neighborhood pharmacies and stores across the country. The cleaning pros at SERVPRO of Augusta/Waterville - experts in cleaning and sanitizing building materials, surfaces, and contents after fire, water, or natural disasters—remind Augusta home and business owners how important it is to step-up routine cleaning efforts during this time of year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the flu virus can remain viable on surfaces for up to 48 hours. Cleaning surfaces and objects that are frequently touched minimizes the likelihood of contacting the flu virus when you touch an infected surface.
According to the CDC, nearly 15% of the U.S. population suffered from the flu in 2018. More than 950,000 people were hospitalized and almost 80,000 people died from flu complications, making 2018 the most severe flu season since 2009.1
“As an emergency response company, we understand the hidden danger of contaminated surfaces in a workplace or home,” said Anthony Wolverton, owner, SERVPRO of Augusta/Waterville. “This time of year, the flu virus can be a ‘hidden danger’ at home, at work, and in the community. It is a serious illness, and we want our Augusta friends and neighbors to take it seriously.”
The CDC recommends the following to help protect yourself or your loved ones from contracting the flu.
1. Get vaccinated. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccination as the first and most important protection against this serious virus.
2. Thoroughly wash your hands (20 seconds or more with soap and water) or sanitize them frequently throughout the day, even if you are not infected, to help protect yourself and others.
3. Beware of frequently touched surfaces, like handrails and doorknobs. Keep them clean at home using a bleach and water solution and clean your hands as soon as possible if you must touch them in public.
If you or a family member comes down with the flu despite these precautions, keep in mind the flu spreads primarily through droplets from a sick person when they cough, sneeze, or talk. With that in mind, the CDC offers the following guidelines to help control the spread of the disease:
1. Stay home and keep your distance. Infected droplets from a sick person’s nose or mouth can travel up to six feet and land in the noses and mouths of people nearby, exposing them to the illness.
2. Wait until you are fever free – without medications – for at least 24 hours before returning to school, work, or normal activities.
3. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, your sleeve, or your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue and clean your hands with soap or a sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol.
There is no such thing as a foolproof flu protection plan, says Wolverton, but frequent hand-washing and conscientious cleaning practices at home, work, and in the community are precautions everyone can practice to help keep them and their loved ones healthy. For more flu statistics and tips on how to help prevent the spread of the flu virus, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu.
SERVPRO of Augusta/Waterville specializes in disaster restoration, residential, and commercial deep cleaning, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened.” For more information on SERVPRO of Augusta/Waterville, please contact Anthony Wolverton at (207) 622-7166 or .
Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO franchise system is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO system has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.