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Workplace flu, disinfecting items you don't normally clean

Posted at 7:10 AM, Mar 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 10:10:20-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Flu season is at its peak right now and where you work is a top place where you can catch it. Many have experienced when one person in the office gets sick and that co-worker's illness can spreads quickly.

"There's multiple people usually in an office and each of them are handling different items, some of them are handling similar items," said Ed Richards, the office manager for Mr. Janitor, a local commercial cleaning company in Tucson.

Although this flu season is reportedly not as severe as last year, we are currently at the peak.

"Paying a special attention to phone headsets, copy machine buttons, microwave handles, refrigerator handles, conference room tables, light switch plates," said Richards. These are some items people touch everyday, but may not clean regularly, which makes it easy for bacteria and viruses to spread.

"Being diligent is a big part of it. Keeping up with and just cleaning up your own personal space for one. Even your own coffee mug or water glass. Just rinsing it out doesn't get rid of the germs," said Richards.

Doctors say the flu virus can stay on a surface from 24 to 48 hours. Which is why the cleaning method you use has to be strong enough to kill the flu virus.

"You can just clean an item by wiping it off. Then you can disinfect an item by getting most of the organisms off with a simple disinfectant like a Clorox Wipe or a spray disinfectant and a paper towel. And then there are your sterilizers which will kill just about every micro-organism there is," said Richards.