Whooping cough outbreaks can quickly run through commercial office spaces, causing significant illness and decimating a workforce.

Officials in multiple states in the U.S. warned in the winter of 2024 about significant breakouts of this disease.

Also known as pertussis, whooping cough spreads from person to person, is very contagious, and can cause severe illness.

Once a deadly disease to U.S. children, pertussis became rare with the advent of a vaccine that drove the number of cases down. Because the disease wasn’t fully eradicated, the number of pertussis cases reported has spiked in recent years.

According to CDC, individuals can spread the bacteria (Bordella pertussis) beginning with the start of symptoms and at least two weeks afterward.

It is also possible to spread this disease while displaying mild symptoms like coughing or a runny nose, so care must be taken especially in high-traffic areas such as offices.

As a facility manager, how can you help guard against an outbreak of whooping cough?

Here are some key tips from our team at 360clean, which has years of experience using a medical-grade approach on offices and facilities of all types.

Educate employees on whooping cough

A vaccine for pertussis is available and recommended by the CDC as the “best way” to prevent obtaining and spreading the disease.

Knowing the highest risk segments: pregnant women, those in an older age group, infants, and babies, is likewise important.

Your employees should understand that practicing good office hygience, washing their hands, and participating in best practices to prevent illness are priorities.

While your employees, patrons, and customers are responsible for their own choices, creating an environment where your workers know how diseases can make the rounds could help with prevention.

Know how to reduce outbreaks in the office

It is important to know the difference between disinfecting and cleaning.

Cleaning removes visible soil, dirt, stains and other debris from surfaces.

Disinfection destroys viruses, bacteria, germs and other harmful microorganisms.

This process is critical to reducing the incidence of dangerous bacteris like bordetella pertussis. It is accomplished by using a chemical designed specifically to kill bacteria.

Concentrate on disinfecting areas that may normally get overlooked. In addition to high traffic areas in a building, don’t overlook the potential for cross-contamination, which occurs on computer keyboards and telephones. 

Disinfectants should be used on all high-touch surfaces in a facility to eliminate the spread of germs and disease.

While it may seem simple, it is very important for this process to be carried out correctly. Disinfectants require accurate dilution, correct application and the proper dwell time. Simply spraying and wiping a disinfectant may not kill harmful bacteria if applied improperly.

To ensure proper disinfection, consider consulting with a commercial cleaning service like 360clean that has proven experience in disinfecting offices and workplaces.

Employees with known infections should stay away from the office, and those with symptoms indicating they are sick should also recover at home.

When sickness is going around the workplace, those at high risk should be considered for remote work.

Wrapping Up

We hope that these best practices for prevention of the spread of whooping cough are helpful to you as a facility manager.

While it is not possible to prevent every incidence of infection like whooping cough, educating your workforce and regularly cleaning and disinfecting your facility can make a difference.

If you have any questions about commercial cleaning or office disinfecting, our team at 360clean is glad to be of service.

Business owners and facility managers interested in a more health focused cleaning that goes beyond just looks can get a free proposal today!

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