Cold & Flus
What is Flu?
Influenza – abbreviated to flu – is a highly contagious virus that infects the respiratory tract. In South Africa, it is mainly caused by the influenza A virus. Immunity rarely lasts for long due to the evolution of many subtypes of the virus. It tends to be seasonal, with infections peaking between December and March.
It spreads by:
Coughing and sneezing: Droplets are expelled which are either breathed in by people nearby, or are then picked up by touch after settling onto surfaces.
Touch: Infected people can leave behind infectious nasal fluids on surfaces, tissues and fabrics, either directly or by passing them on by their hands. Other people can become infected by touching these things, then putting their hands to their eyes, nose or mouth.
The symptoms are:
Sudden fever, aching limbs and fatigue, sore throat, cough and headache.
A runny nose, eye pain and sensitivity to light.
Complications can lead to bronchitis or bacterial pneumonia, which may require hospital treatment and, on occasion or in susceptible patients, can be life-threatening.
Ways to help avoid flu
Regularly disinfect the surfaces that people come into contact with using Domestos Multipurpose Thick Bleach. Surfaces to be conscious of include door handles, countertops, toilet handles and light switches.
Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth when flu is around.
Regularly wash your hands using soap and warm water. Read more about cleaning your hands correctly.
Make sure that the ill person has his or her own towel and face cloth. Encourage them to practise good cough and sneeze hygiene by sneezing and coughing into the crook of their arm rather than their hands, and by washing their hands frequently. They should particularly avoid contact with people who are more vulnerable to infection, like the elderly or those with a compromised immune system.
Soak cloths and sponges overnight in a diluted solution of Domestos Multipurpose Thick Bleach and dry thoroughly.
How to get into good cleaning habits
Put a cleaning schedule together, and rob germs of their hiding places. Work out what needs to be done daily, weekly and monthly, and what your availability is like. Write it up and off you go.