Recent outbreaks of whooping cough in several U.S. states have prompted representatives of Spray Nine to release key tips to ensure proper disinfection to contain the disease’s spread. “Despite the growing use of green cleaning products, there’s still the need for traditional disinfectants to further ensure dangerous germs are destroyed during the cleaning process,” said Cary Zelich, marketing manager for Spray Nine, an ITW Permatex brand. “Even in cases where legislatures are promoting green cleaning at state-run schools, cleaning professionals should note that most legislation doesn’t limit the use or distribution of antimicrobial disinfectants or sanitizers.” Whooping cough, once a deadly disease to U.S. children, became rare with the advent of a vaccine that drove the number of cases down. However, because the disease wasn’t fully eradicated the number of cases reported this year has spiked. Washington and Wisconsin have each reported about 3,000 cases — and a higher number of cases are being tracked in New York, Minnesota, Kansas, and Arizona. Zelich says there are several tips that those involved in cleaning programs need to keep top-of-mind in combating the spread of the disease:
- Know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning removes visible soil, dirt, stains and other debris from surfaces. Disinfection destroys viruses, bacteria, germs and other harmful microorganisms. It is accomplished by using a chemical designed specifically to kill bacteria. One of the simplest ways to make sure you are disinfecting is to use a reliable name brand disinfectant with all of the proper paperwork to back up its kill-claims.
- Provide on-site training on a continual basis. Disinfectants require accurate dilution, correct application and the proper dwell time. Simply spraying and wiping a disinfectant may not kill harmful bacteria. Some disinfectants require 30-second contact times, while others may require up to 10 minutes. It is important to provide ongoing training to ensure the cleaning staff is trained with the latest cleaning procedures to achieve disinfection.
- 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.