An increase in antibiotic-resistant infections, particularly with children, has been reported throughout the country and the culprit seems to be an overuse of antibiotics. These infections are caused by superbugs, or strains of bacteria that have become resistant to most antibiotics.1 When children—and adults—get sick, it can be quite difficult to determine what illness they’ve contracted.
As a result, physicians will likely prescribe an antibiotic when it may not be necessary. However, this goes against the CDC’s protocol of taking antibiotics only if you absolutely need to. It is also important to note that antibiotics do not work against viruses, and should only be used to treat infections caused by bacteria, such as strep throat, ear, and sinus infections.2
The CDC has also stated that seasonal influenza activity remains lower than usual for this time of year. This may be due in part to the safety measures taken to prevent COVID-19, such as social distancing and wearing masks. However, low influenza cases do not mean we should start easing restrictions. With the pandemic, flu season, and winter conditions all currently aligned, staying safe is more critical now than ever before.
In this blog post, we’ll go over the common symptoms of COVID-19, the flu, and the common cold, as well as how to keep yourself healthy, and how to keep your environment safe and clean.
COVID-19 is an illness caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 which spreads from person to person. Its symptoms arise between 2 to 14 days and can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Keep in mind that COVID-19 can also present itself with no symptoms, as seen with asymptomatic cases.3
The flu is an illness caused by the influenza virus. There are currently four influenza viruses, two of which are responsible for the seasonal epidemics in the United States. Its symptoms arise 1 to 4 days after exposure and can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, and fatigue. Like COVID-19, some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. However, they can still spread the virus to others.4
The Common Cold
The common cold is an illness that can be caused by many different respiratory viruses, but rhinoviruses are the most common. Its symptoms arise 1 to 3 days after exposure and are usually mild. Common symptoms include a sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, headaches, and body aches.5
How to Stay Healthy & Protect Yourself During This Time
The best ways to stay healthy and safe this winter are by keeping a strong immune system and continuing to follow COVID-19 protocols. For a healthy immune system, we recommend:
- Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables
- Exercising regularly
- Getting adequate sleep (7 to 8 hours)
- Minimizing stress levels
- Not smoking or drinking
- Maintaining a healthy weight6
To protect yourself against COVID-19, the flu, and the common cold, we recommend:
- Getting your flu shot
- Wearing a face mask around others*
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds
- Practicing social distancing
- Staying home unless necessary
How to Keep Your Facility Safe and Clean
To keep your facility safe and clean, we recommend putting together an in-house cleaning protocol. By having an in-house cleaning protocol, you can train your staff on how to safely handle disinfectants, how to properly disinfect surfaces, and what PPE they should be wearing while doing so.
Once you have an in-house cleaning protocol in place, we highly advise you to increase the number of times you disinfect your facility. You may have employees that are hesitant to return to work due to fear of getting sick— whether from COVID-19, the flu, or the common cold. However, having this protocol will provide peace of mind to both your employees and your clients.
To create an in-house cleaning protocol, simply follow these steps:
- Create a list of rooms, areas, and high-touch surfaces to be cleaned and disinfected.
- Assign staff members to specific areas/rooms for which they will be responsible to clean and disinfect regularly.
- Have a calendar with scheduled cleanings and disinfection for each staff member
- Optional: hire a day porter to be on-site daily.
- Optional: hire a commercial cleaning service for after-hours disinfecting.
If you are seeking a professional cleaning company to help make your workplace safer for your employees and clients, look no further. Commercial Cleaning Corporation offers many services to help your facility stay safe against the viruses that cause COVID-19, the flu, and the common cold. We provide day porters, janitorial services, electrostatic disinfection, and more. Simply fill out this form for a free walkthrough or consultation!
*Public health experts now recommend doubling up or upgrading your face masks due to new coronavirus variants that are emerging.