Most individuals report washing their hands after using public restrooms, which helps prevent some transfer of infectious agents. However, it is no surprise that bacteria and viruses live and reproduce on surfaces other than in the restroom. Many employees neglect the surfaces of their desk space, thinking since the space is theirs, no harmful germs may be lurking about. However, any surface touched in the office by an employee can then transfer its germs to other touched items such as the employee’s drawers, keyboard and mouse. An employee can then transfer the germs to his or her eyes or food, and cause an infection such as a cold or flu. Influenza costs businesses approximately $10.4 billion annually. Accordingly, disease transmission prevention is vitally important for employers. Hand contact with germs is the primary cause of all infections. However, cold and flu can often also be transmitted through air droplets by coughing, sneezing or talking.
Sneezing into one’s shoulder instead of the hand will prevent several forms of virus transmission. Take the simple steps of proper hand washing and covering your sneezes to prevent diseases and infections this winter.